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Now We Don't Need Pilots

Kirkhill

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https://www.defensetech.org/2017/03/23/dp14-hawk/?comp%3D1199477489291%26rank%3D0

Army Eyes Dual-Rotor Drone for Casualty-Evacuation

12-Jan-2017-GO-Visit011-777x437.jpg

Dragonfly Pictures Inc.'S DP14 Hawk UAS is part of a U.S. Army effort to one day use drones to evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield. Photo: U.S. Army.

POSTED BY: MATT COX MARCH 23, 2017
Dragonfly Pictures Inc.’s DP14 Hawk, a dual-rotor unmanned aerial system, could play a role in a U.S. Army effort to one day use drones to evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield.

The DP14 Hawk, which resembles a miniature CH-47 Chinook helicopter, can carry 430 pounds in its six-foot by 20-inch cargo space for about 2.4 hours.

It has a cruising speed of about 82 miles per hour and is capable of flying in crosswinds up to 46 mph.

The DP14 Hawk uses onboard LIDAR, or 3D laser scanning, and advanced algorithms to self-navigate in complex, restricted environments, according to DPI’s website. This includes advanced intelligence for path planning, course corrections, perception, obstacle avoidance, and landing-site selection.

“These cutting-edge capabilities allow the Hawk to fly intelligent autonomous, NLOS, nap-of-earth missions and dynamically adapt to changes in flight conditions and terrain,” according to DPI.

DP-14-10.jpg


The DP14 is part of a U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, or USAMRMC, effort to look at alternatives to evacuating casualties in what the Army and Marine Corps calls Multidomain Battlefield, a operational concept designed to prepare the joint force to operate in the domains of land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.

In the future, commanders will employ unmanned systems as force multipliers in mobility- or resource-constrained or denied environments. Future multipurpose unmanned system platforms could assist in medical operations in such environments, Gary R. Gilbert, program manager of the USAMRMC Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center’s Medical Intelligent Systems.

“The growing planned use of unmanned systems and robotics on the future battlefield affords both great opportunities for medical force multipliers as well as significant operational medicine and medical research challenges,” Gilbert said in a recent Army press release.

The TATRC team is developing a UAS research platform that is much smaller than traditionally piloted vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. It has the potential to provide some unique capability for medical logistics compared with larger aircraft. Because of the increased mobility of the smaller aircraft, for example, it requires a much smaller landing zone footprint, which increases the number of available landing zones in difficult terrain.

TATRC is currently testing this UAS research platform to address operational gaps in future medical mission areas and to mature the capability of using UAS for emergency medical resupply and casualty evacuation.

“We are partnering with the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory and Dragonfly Pictures Inc. to test this system,” said Gilbert. “With funding from the Defense Health Agency Joint Program Committee for Combat Casualty Care, we are currently initiating a research project to provide a cost-effective UAS research platform for the operational testing and evaluation of emerging enroute care and medical resupply technologies.”

I've being irritating the Naval types about them not getting with the programme on manning levels.  Now I get to do it with Air Force types.

Up to now I have been confident that nobody would want to get into an aircraft unless it had a reasonably functioning pilot on board willing to go down in flames with the passengers.  Now I am not so sure.

I can see this progressing from the insentient (food and ammo) to the insensible (the unconscious) to the non-sensical (idiots wanting to get a better view of the battlespace regardless of personal risk).

Colonel, your Uber-Drone is waiting for you!
 

Loachman

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Is there a robodoctor built in as well? If not, who looks after the casualty? Life-saving treatment is given to wounded people during transport. Many would not survive without it.

This would only be good for transporting corpses.
 

Kirkhill

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If it makes you feel any better.... I don't plan on getting into anything that flies that doesn't have a driver.

As to robodoctor?

da_Vinci_action_023874-637x478.jpg
 

Blackadder1916

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Loachman said:
This would only be good for transporting corpses.

So . . . a corpseter

While first glance would elicit a WTF with regard to in-flight continuing care, there has been consideration of those factors in looking at use of unmanned aerial casevac vehicles,

Safe Ride Standards for Casualty Evacuation Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
RTO-TR-HFM-184

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has dramatically increased in recent years, and they are now being developed and used for many purposes beyond the ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance) functions for which they are most well known. Since studies are now underway in the use of these vehicles for logistics purposes, the question has arisen as to whether they could be used for Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC). The HFM-184 Task Group has carefully considered operational, clinical, ethical, and legal aspects of this question, and has determined that the use of UAVs for casualty evacuation can be justified and may be potentially beneficial for the casualty under carefully-defined circumstances. The RTG, initially sceptical, now considers that UAVs in the casualty evacuation role are a potentially viable modality, the development of which should be encouraged.


Published  12/27/2012 
Author(s)  Multiple 
STOPublicationType  Technical Report RDP 
Publication Reference  RTO-TR-HFM-184 
DOI  10.14339/RTO-TR-HFM-184 
ISBN  ISBN 978-92-837-0174-3 
STOPublisher  RTO 
Access  Open Access 
STOKeywords  aeromedical evacuation
Link to the full report is at the above link.

 

George Wallace

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Nothing new, really.  The USA has been brainstorming these ideas for years now.  I remember seeing a video of a robot medical APC with robotics inside to treat casualties being transported from the Front to Medical facilities.

One source of info is:  https://www.backintheusa.us/news2.php?title2=UnmannedAmbulances

Another project is the Airmule

Medical robotics are already in development.

Glimpses of future battlefield medicine – the proliferation of robotic surgeons and unmanned vehicles and technologies gives various examples of how the thought processes are towards use of robotics on the future battlefields for casualty extraction.

If you really want to question to use of robotics in medicine and battlefield extraction, it is easy to find numerous examples of what things are being dreamt up, and what is actually already in use.
 

Kirkhill

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By the way Loachman, how much medical assistance were you rendering when you were flying these?

helioevac_korea_700.jpg
 

ModlrMike

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Prhaps this can be merged with

http://navy.ca/forums/threads/125435.0.html
 

Loachman

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Chris Pook said:
By the way Loachman, how much medical assistance were you rendering when you were flying these?

None, but that that was the best that could be done with helicopters at the time and still represented a significant advance in casualty treatment.

The machine shown at the start of this thread reverts to the level of care available sixty-seven years ago.

And the poor guy entombed within can't even see where he's going.
 

mariomike

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Urban ( non-military ) use of drones in severe traffic congestion.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxXjlxR7fhE
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Every time I see a quadcopter "ultra-modern" concept drone or remotely piloted vehicle, I am reminded of my youth!

In 1960, a Belgian comic book writer created a villain (Zorglub), who travelled around in his own designed air vehicle called a Zorglmobile. Here is the design he came up with, you tell me how prescient he was:

 

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mariomike

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Jetsons! 

A typical suburban 21st Century family.  :)
 

Kirkhill

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Loachman said:
None, but that that was the best that could be done with helicopters at the time and still represented a significant advance in casualty treatment.

The machine shown at the start of this thread reverts to the level of care available sixty-seven years ago.

And the poor guy entombed within can't even see where he's going.

Seen. 

And, all kidding aside, I find it an interesting question.  If I were wounded and could be stabilized by the medic on the ground, either conscious or unconscious, what would work best?  Head back to the rear as quickly as possible in the CQ's vehicle after he dropped off a load of water and ammunition or wait another 15 minutes for a proper dust-off to be organized?

Honestly I don't know that answer, I am going to guess that the response would be situational, including depending on available resources, number and severity of casualties. 

And, yeah, I really don't like the "flying coffin" concept of no windows.
 

Loachman

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There's a National Geographic DVD set entitled "Inside Combat Rescue". I highly recommend it. Watch that, and then tell me when you think those guys can be replaced with automated systems.

"Pedros" are an extremely professional, dedicated, motivated, and effective bunch. One of my functions during my last tour was to monitor medevac missions, and these guys were an absolute delight. Their US Army counterparts did good work, too, but sucked when it came to passing critical information so I constantly had to hound them.

We can cobble together a modest, short-term medevac capability, but we are generally limited to Vietnam-style casevac, We can provide transport only, and have no attached medical staff for casualty care, and obviously the casualty's unit cannot afford to provide one of theirs for the ride either. Every Griffon flies with a half-litter kit, with which we can stack three litter casualties, and one litter at all times.

I've flown in a bunch of different environments, including urban (mainly while flying Police helicopters), and I've done the UAV thing in theatre. I try really, really hard not to be close-minded, but I will remain sceptical about over-automation for a long, long time based upon my experience. There are more hazards in urban environments than the average ground-bound mortal could ever conceive without throwing a bunch of flying Amazon delivery droids into the mix. Watching the concept-video of mariomike's "ambulance drone" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxXjlxR7fhE flying along city streets just gave me chills. One cable, or an oncoming Amazon droid, and there is going to be an instant requirement for a bigger fleet of these things than anybody can afford. A Pilot's situational awareness and ability to react to changes, especially subtle-yet-critical ones, is severely limited when not in the actual aircraft. Finding a convenient place to land "anywhere" is not as easy as it sounds, either. The number of hazards increases as altitude decreases, and traffic can lock up for a long way around a crash site. And a single operator trying to control more than one machine at a time? I would not want to be him, or anybody in or beneath his charges.
 

Kirkhill

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Points all taken.

The reason I keep putting this stuff up is not that I think that the world will change tomorrow but because tomorrow won't look like today as new capabilities come on line, chipping away at the old and creating new challenges.  A continuation of my mantra of "horses for courses".  If a problem arises and the textbook solution is not available somebody will do "the other thing".

And that chipping away process, well as we both know, twenty years comes and goes pretty fast when you get to the back end of it.

And thanks for the heads up on "Inside Combat Rescue".
 

Loachman

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I've merged mariomike's thread with this one, as there are enough similarities. The only difference is that nobody is likely to be shooting at the civilian version (as much, at least) while the military version would not likely have to dodge as many Amazon delivery droids.
 

Loachman

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Yes, technology will continue to improve, but some limitations will be persistent. Dreaming is also fun, but some people need to have their kite strings reeled in a bit as well.

I'm still waiting for the flying cars that we were promised in the 1960s.
 

Kirkhill

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Moller's still trying

http://moller.com/

But I think this guy has got them beat.

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/15/14906164/flyboard-air-hoverboard-france-ban-franky-zapata


And in addition to overhead power cables and comms wires, buildings and Amazon Drones, there are bureaucrats, for good and for ill. 
 

mariomike

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Loachman said:
I've merged mariomike's thread with this one, as there are enough similarities.

I was not sure. So, to be on the safe side, I posted it in the Emergency Services forum.

Personally, I think it would be pretty lonely working without a partner. And, who would help you lift?

But, it would be a cost saving for the taxpayers on salaries.
 
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