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Airport Autonomous Control (ACUGOTA) Program Implementation

The current level of technology development allows the creation of many technological solutions aimed at ensuring human safety. One of the directions in this area is replacing humans with autonomous robots controlled by an operator. Thus, a person can be protected from working in a hazardous environment, and the likelihood of error may be reduced. This essay aims to analyze the airport’s autonomous control and communication system, otherwise known as ACUGOTA.

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This program is a set of technological solutions designed to reduce a person’s presence on the runway. The fact that the constant presence of personnel in the landing area is dangerous. It also introduces delays in the airport’s operation as a whole, as time is wasted on clearing the runway. Besides, current drones must also be removed as their operator does not have complete information on the airport (Northrop Grumman, 2014). Consequently, there is a need to modernize such technical means to ensure their autonomy and safe location on the strip.

The Northrop Grumman system offers several significant advantages that make it easier to use. First, a well-functioning system works in full accordance with the instructions for unmanned aerial vehicles and shows its best side even in atypical situations. Examples of such cases were the sudden occurrence of an obstacle that conflicts with the operator’s instructions (Northrop Grumman, 2014). This situation’s resolution is possible due to another advantage, namely voice control, which significantly simplifies monitoring and controlling the drone. Thus, the operator can communicate with the UAV in much the same way that flight dispatchers coordinate with real pilots, using a specialized sequence of commands.

These innovations make it much easier to use such unmanned aerial vehicles in airports. The presence of voice control, coupled with precise obedience to commands, supports allowing the takeoff and landing of drones even in the proximity of other aircraft on the runway. This permit, in turn, allows both to speed up the operation of the airport as a whole, since personnel doesn’t have to spend time cleaning the runway and will provide more active development of unmanned flights. Thus, it becomes possible to organize entire unmanned systems, designed, for example, to transport small loads. Such an approach significantly expands the possibilities of using drones, since both the cost of their maintenance and the number of required personnel is reduced.


Northrop Grumman. (2014). Autonomous control of UAS ground operations in the terminal area [Video file]. Web.

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