Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, successfully completed a third test flight series in which the Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) and Gremlins Recovery System flew three more times. The system has totaled seven flight hours during the month of November. The test took place at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This test series focused on two objectives – demonstrating the automated, manual safety behaviors and continuing progress toward multiple aerial docking attempts. The safety behaviors demonstrated safe operation of the X-61A GAV on the range in close formation with the manned C-130 recovery aircraft.
“Our innovative safety functions are a critical part of the Gremlins system,” said Tim Keeter, program manager for the Dynetics Gremlins team. “With five total flights to date, almost 11 hours logged in flight and a thorough, disciplined test plan, we are pleased with the safe operation of our system. That’s a significant milestone for Gremlins. Our goal is to advance as far along on our test objectives, collect data, and thereby mature the system as much as we can. The ultimate program goal, of course, is safe, reliable airborne recovery at a 4-in-30 minute rate. While we have not yet achieved that objective, every time we fly, we get better.”
Dynetics was one of four companies awarded a Phase 1 contract for the Gremlins program in 2016. Phase 2 was awarded in March 2017 to two of the initial four performers, and Phase 3 followed in April 2018, when Dynetics was named the top performer. After the second test in July, the Dynetics Gremlins team was able to continue progress towards multiple aerial docking attempts with the Gremlins Autonomous Docking System (GADS). The team ultimately achieved the program’s first ever aerial docking attempts, nine attempts in total, with each attempt coming within inches of capture. All four GAVs are presently being prepared for the next series of flights in early 2021.
ynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, provides responsive, cost-effective engineering, scientific, IT solutions to the national security, cybersecurity, space, and critical infrastructure sectors. Our portfolio features highly specialized technical services and a range of software and hardware products, including components, subsystems, and complex end-to-end systems. The company of more than 2,500 employees is based in Huntsville, Ala., and has offices throughout the U.S. Leidos is a Fortune 500Â® information technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets. The company’s 38,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers.