Revolution and evolution – side by side in the UAS world

The revolution that unmanned air systems (UAS) have brought to the modern combat arena is accompanied by a parallel evolution in the operation of these weapons. However, this process is multi-layered and requires many changes.

The Israeli aerospace and defence industries are a main source of all types of UAS, and as such also develop the tools required as a result of the evolution.

Firstly, the external pilot was made redundant and take-off and landing became automatic, but the ground station crew who receive signals from the array of sensors attached to UAS are still very much required and have to be experts to digest the flood of data, not all of it relevant.

This naturally requires training and a sophisticated selection of candidates to become UAS systems operators. One of the first tools developed to match the need for these candidates is a simulation system that will help air forces select the best candidates for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) payload operators.

Simlat, the Israeli company which has developed a line of advanced simulators for UAS, recently signed a contract to supply 15 of its Selection by Performance-Oriented Testing (SPOT) systems to a military customer for an extensive process of manning ISR payload operator positions.

More than 100 candidates are expected to undergo the SPOT evaluation as part of the selection process. The procedure includes inspecting SPOT performance grades on various ISR tasks to determine compatibility to this demanding position.

“Incorporating SPOT in the selection process allows customers to explore candidates’ performance and cognitive skills through tasks that are highly relevant to the position in question, with no need for prior knowledge or training,” says Nira Streifler, product manager at Simlat. “It’s a cost-effective solution both in terms of the selection process itself and when taking into consideration the costs of incompatible manning or dropout.”

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