Defense

August 9, 2012

Marines conclude testing of Navy-developed unmanned ground systems

Tags:
by John J. Joyce
Fort Pickett, Va.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 18, 2011) Brent Azzarelli, assigned to the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, explains the Ground UnManned Support Surrogate (GUSS) at the Office of Naval Research exhibit at the annual conference for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 18, 2011) Brent Azzarelli, assigned to the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, explains the Ground UnManned Support Surrogate (GUSS) at the Office of Naval Research exhibit at the annual conference for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems.

More than 150 U.S. Marines joined Navy civilian engineers to test and develop new methods of keeping warfighters away from improvised explosive devices while lightening their load with unmanned systems at a limited objective experiment July 23 to Aug. 7 in Fort Pickett, Va.

They refined tactics and techniques related to unmanned ground systems and the technology’s operational effectiveness in supporting logistics throughout a Marine Corps Warfighting Lab sponsored event as complex as its name: Enhanced Marine air-ground task force Operations LOE 2.2 – Mobility and Distribution.

“We looked at unmanned logistics for convoys and dismounts in order to influence the proper set of requirements that can be turned into Programs of Record,” said Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division chief robotics engineer Brent Azzarelli. “Lightening the load and getting Marines off the road are two tactical and operational needs required to reduce Marines exposure to IEDs and allow them in the dismounted mode to be less operationally fatigued.”

At one point, media and distinguished visitors, including Marine Corps generals, observed MCWL and Azzarelli’s team of NSWCDD engineers’ live demonstration of two technologies – the Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate and the seven-ton Cargo unmanned ground vehicle.

Marines demonstrating the autonomous Cargo UGV with its emerging robotic technology assessed its potential to increase their situational awareness and reduce exposure to lethal attacks.

The visitors, watching GUSS in action, saw its ability to increase the time small Marine Corps units can operate independently, enhancing units’ capacity to evacuate casualties to casualty collection points or landing zones.

“I am extraordinarily proud to be a part of our team of Marines, civilians, academia, and industry,” said NSWCDD GUSS project lead Elizabeth Carlson. “GUSS is an extremely capable autonomous vehicle that can perceive and classify objects in a completely unstructured environment and in GPS (global positioning system) denied conditions. A technology like this could be instrumental in how the Marines of the future fight.”

Carlson managed recent technical upgrades to the GUSS system ranging from advancements in perception and autonomy to integration with the tactical robotic controller and improvements in the cargo loading design used for casualty evacuation.

At the Fort Pickett experiment, Marines testing TRC successfully used the lightweight, wearable system to control a myriad of unattended ground sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles, including GUSS.

The war fighters testing GUSS at EMO LOE 2.2 preset their missions and did not use the vehicle’s TRC controller, but instead placed the unmanned vehicle in a “follow me” mode while loading waypoints for the vehicle to navigate to. With little input, the Marines set up missions in seconds and the GUSS navigated on its own. Also, by load sharing, GUSS enables an entire squad of Marines to offload some of their gear into the bed of GUSS, thereby enhancing squad agility.

“This is the first time one piece of common gear has controlled systems across the unmanned systems domain,” said NSWCDD TRC project lead Ron Colbow. “When the TRC is fielded to the Marine Corps and Army, I believe it will lead to savings in acquisition, logistics, and training while lightening the load of the foot mobile Marine and soldier.”

In addition to its integration with TRC, the GUSS upgrades include superior sensors, enhanced dead reckoning capability, and improved autonomy decision algorithms.

The mission of GUSS – supporting a squad of Marines for extended multi-day patrols, sometimes off road in completely unmapped areas – guided its development with continual feedback by Marines testing the system.

“GUSS doesn’t need to know about the topography of an area or the road network,” said Carlson. “The system makes obstacle avoidance decisions solely based on the mission that is loaded and input from the onboard Light Detection and Ranging system.”

MCWL leaders used EMO LOE 2.2 to examine the Marine air-ground task force’s ability to logistically support and sustain multiple, non-contiguous tactical units from a sea base; assess impacts of experimental logistics technologies on the MAGTF; and develop recommendations for solutions that address sustainment-related capability gaps.

Additional technologies evaluated at the experiment included the foot mobile battery charger, Tactical Network Sensor System S2, Combat Logistics Patrol Sensor Network, enhanced combat casualty care, small unit water purifier, Next Generation C2, rapid request applet, tactical service oriented architecture, and the Onboard Vehicle Power – Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Advanced Extremely High Frequency system achieves IOC

Gen. John Hyten, the Air Force Space Command commander, declared initial operational capability for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system July 28. The significant achievement reflects collaboration between numerous organizations, including Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Army, Navy and the developers, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. The s...
 
 
Navy photograph

Surface-to-surface missile test for LCS successful

Navy photograph Three missiles from a ripple fire response strike their moving targets during an engineering development test of modified Longbow Hellfire missiles. The missile system, designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile ...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier An E-3 Sentry AWACS from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepares to land May 16, 2015. AWACS have the capability to detect enemy as well as friendly aircraft at great distances usi...
 
 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>