Marines in Afghanistan are beginning to see more of the K-MAX Cargo Unmanned Aerial System, a helicopter designed to carry up to 4,000 pounds of cargo to U.S. forces in remote locations without a pilot. (Colin Kelly/Staff)
Neya Systems and Lockheed Martin are developing mission planning software for Kaman Aircraft's K-MAX helicopters.
VERTI, an extension of Neya's Mission Planning and Management System software, will be used to control the K-MAX, which can be flown as a manned or unmanned aircraft. The unmanned version is being tested in Afghanistan for resupply missions.
Neya describes VERTI as "moving away from traditional 'functional' user interfaces, which focus on direct control of specific payloads, platforms, and sensors. Instead, VERTI presents a context-aware, mission-specific interface that walks the user through the steps required for a particular mission, while allowing him to make changes to critical parameters as the tactical situation changes in real time."
VERTI allows "pre-mission planning using an interface that is familiar to mission planners who are already familiar with Air Tasking Orders and existing planning tactics, techniques, and procedures," said a Neya news release. "The pre-mission planning phase is intended to allow an in-field medic or other soldier to rapidly call up a desired mission such as cargo resupply, and populate mission parameters such as drop-off location, landing zone conditions, and any flight restrictions."