Air Force

Vigilant Spirit UAV ground control software

Air Force's multi-drone, multi-sensor control software available to businesses

Software & Information Technology

The Air Force Research Laboratory is sharing unmanned aerial vehicle ground control software with businesses to further enhance the software’s capabilities.

The Department of Defense uses a variety of UAVs, also known as drones, to perform critical missions. Similarly, many businesses use UAVs to monitor crops, manage forests, and inspect communication towers and pipelines.

Most UAVs are piloted remotely, and those that are come with piloting and control software.

But the Air Force developed a new, non-proprietary UAV software that can control multiple groups and types of UAVs that can be customized for individual operators or missions. It’s called the Vigilant Spirit Control Software.

Capt. Anthony Castello views the Vigilant Spirit Control Station at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (Air Force photo)

The VSCS suite was written using publicly available software development tools. Emphasis was placed on designing applications to be run on the Microsoft Windows operating system. The bulk of the software was written in the C# language and to a lesser extent C++ and OpenGL graphics language.

Vigilant Spirit Control Station comprises a multitude of tools to aid both the researcher and UAS operator. (Air Force illustration)

The 711th Human Performance Wing is using an information transfer agreement or a license agreement to provide private companies with access to its Vigilant Spirit Control Station software package.

Interested parties can find out more on how to obtain the software from Brian Metzger, senior technology manager at TechLink, by contacting him at

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