Pilot’s Associate Program: Management Information

Program Phases

The PA program was executed in three phases, each of which included at least one major customer demonstration designed to show to a broad audience the emerging capabilities of the system.

Phase 0, 1983 – 1985

Phase 0 was an exploratory phase was conducted by 5 contractors and laid the conceptual groundwork of the subsequent phases. It terminated in 1985 with Demo 1.

Phase 1, 1986 – 1989

Two parallel contracts were awarded for Phase 1 that lasted from early 1986 to late 1989, including Demo 2 in early 1988 and Demo 3 at the end. The aim of Phase 1 was to demonstrate associate functionality without the constraint of having to perform in real time:

  • The Lockheed team led by Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company (LASC) (now part of Lockheed Martin corporation) focused on the air-to-air mission of a generic, low-observable fighter aircraft.
  • The McDonnell Douglas team led by McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing) focused on the air-to-ground mission of an F-18 type platform.

The original McDonnell approach was a tightly coupled set of systems running identical rule based engines in lock step. This approach resulted in very slow performance of the system, and was later abandoned in favor of a loosely coupled, federated set of systems.

The Lockheed team approach emphasized selection of the most appropriate implementation for each subsystem, and resulted in a loosely coupled, federated collection of dissimilar systems communicating asynchronously as necessary. Each subsystem of the Lockheed PA was let by a different subcontractor team, and system architecture and integration was under the control of an integration team.

  • Systems Status led by General Electric in Schenectady, NY,
  • Situation Assessment led by LASC (now, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company) and supported by General Electric, Applied Systems Intelligence, Inc.(ASI), Greystone Defense Systems, and Loral,
  • Mission Planning led by LASC with support from its California division supplying the original dynamic programming algorithms
  • Tactics Planning led by Teknowledge in Palo Alto, later to become ISX Corporation, suported by Greystone Defense Systems
  • Pilot-Vehicle Interface (PVI) led by Search Technology, later to become ASI and
  • Mission Management led by LASC.
  • Mission Support Tool led by LASC with support from Greystone Defense Systems

Credit must also be given to two other advisory bodies:

  • the Technology Advisory Board that reviewed and guided the technical approach and development processes towards a successful implementation, and
  • the Operational Task Force composed of active or recently retired operational pilots and back-seaters whose charter was to provide expertise for each of the systems and overall guidance on the operational relevance of the technology.

Phase 2, 1989 – 1992

Phase 2 extended from the end of Phase 1 until the middle of 1992, and concluded with the final PA demonstration, Demo 4. Its objective was to demonstrate enhanced (useful) functionality in real-time connected to a full mission simulator. The Lockheed team was the sole contractor for this third phase. Team members in Phase 2 were:

  • LASC: Program management, Situation Assessment, Mission Planner, Systems Status, System integration and simulation
  • ISX Corp.: Tactics Planner
  • Search Technology, Inc.: PVI, manned system evaluation
  • Greystone Defense Systems: Mission Support Tool, knowledge acquisition
  • Applied Systems Intelligence (ASI): Integrated test plan, system engineering

In order to achieve real-time performance, the Lockheed team elected to re-code all of the disparate code demonstrated in Phase 2 in C++ running on a selection of Sun Sparc processors in a VME chassis. Two special-purpose boards were also constructed. One implemented the computationally intensive Route Optimization code. The other provided rapid event management between processors in the chassis to minimize inter-CPU latencies.

last updated 1/26/2003 by David Smith

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