Integration & Test Lead, Autonomous Mobility Applique System, Lockheed Martin
Bridget Dyer shifted from a career in the aerospace realm to lend her talents to developing, integrating and testing the capabilities of Lockheed’s autonomous, unmanned ground vehicles (AMAS). She is proud to be working in a field that is shaping the future of human travel and safety.
"What’s exciting to me is that Lockheed Martin is participating in shaping the future of autonomous vehicles, how the military will use them. AMAS allow the soldiers to do more aspects of their job when they are not just focused on driving trucks," Dyer said.
"These soldiers have been up all day, and will drive all night in their convoy. The system allows them to stay in the convoy, follow the other vehicles and avoid obstacles. They can literally take a nap or do other things. It allows drivers some autonomy—in urban environments and on highways."
Chief Engineer of Autonomy Programs, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company
Igor Cherepinsky helps design, implement and flight test the S-76 Sikorsky autonomy research aircraft, as well as an unmanned version of the iconic BLACKHAWK. His goal is to equip these helicopters—weighing 10,000 pounds and up—to perform various useful tasks for Lockheed clients, and give users flexibility to deploy both manned and unmanned operations.
These optionally-piloted aircraft increase safety, and aid operators in decision-making. In both cases, "people manage the mission and fly the aircraft," Cherepinsky said. Regardless if a human is aboard or operating from the sidelines, the aircraft design and performance are "all the same spectrum, same technology, same reliability."
Cherepinsky builds user flexibility into each aircraft, ensuring both manned and unmanned capability. Whether a human operator sits in the cockpit or on land is less important than the aircrafts’ ultimate goal, which is to "enhance safety across the board," especially in war zones or natural disaster sites.
Portfolio Manager, Rapid Operation Programs, Skunk Works®
Kevin Lewelling is always thinking about the next generation of unmanned aerial systems. He has been instrumental in developing the Stalker UAS, a small, silent unmanned aerial system with long-endurance imaging capability. "It embodies the whole concept of what you can do with smaller systems, a more for less concept. It gives customers more capability at less cost."
He is proud of the Stalker’s endurance. It can fly for eight hours straight. "We keep pushing the envelope and tried 12 hours. And only one or two people are needed to fly it."
Lewelling never stops thinking how to add more capabilities to unmanned systems and increase their utility for military, federal and commercial applications. For example, the Stalker "can do many things. It’s meant to be a multi-intel collection platform—some days it collects video, or drops off rescue supplies, or a radios for rescue folks."
"We want a platform that transcends time, but is also flexible with payloads."