An onboard autonomy framework and a prototype platform abstraction layer developed by Aurora Flight Sciences were part of a Boeing demonstration of a new open autonomy architecture for manned-unmanned teaming with MQ-25.

The demonstration showed how other aircraft could easily task an MQ-25 teammate with an ISR mission specifying only the search area and no-fly zones. Using an onboard autonomy framework developed by Aurora, the MQ-25 autonomously did the rest – including validating the command against its operational constraints, planning its route and conducting its search pattern, among many other tasks.

Aurora also created and demonstrated a prototype platform abstraction layer – a software boundary that decouples MQ-25’s flight safety and flight critical components from mission software and sensor hardware. This commercial best practice allows third-party “app” integration on MQ-25. Using an Aurora-provided software development kit, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division created a new radar search application for MQ-25 that was successfully used during the demonstration.

Read the full story on