Defense

June 21, 2013

Cost-saving pilot programs to support war fighter autonomy

Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

A call from the Defense Department to government labs for autonomous technology ideas that support the war fighter has been answered with seven initiatives.

Chosen from more than 50 submissions, the selected ideas will be tested in the Autonomy Research Pilot Initiative, officials said.

“We believe autonomy and autonomous systems will be very important for how we operate in the future,î said Al Shaffer, acting assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering. Autonomous systems are capable of functioning with little or no human input or supervision.

ìIf we had better autonomous systems for route clearance in Afghanistan, we could offload a lot of the dangerous missions that humans undertake with autonomous systems, so we have to make a big push in autonomy,” Shaffer said.

The pilot research initiativeís goal is to advance technologies that will result in autonomous systems that provide more capability to warfighters, lessen the cognitive load on operators and supervisors, and lower overall operational cost, explained Jennifer Elzea, a DOD spokeswoman.

The potential cross-cutting advances of this initiative in multiple domains provide an exciting prospect for interoperability among the military services, and potentially [in] meeting future acquisitions requirements,î she said. ìThe seven projects are at the fundamental cutting edge of the science of autonomy. The projects also integrate several scientific disciplines [such as] neurology [and] mimetics.

The seven projects are not looking at autonomous weapons systems, but rather are investigating autonomous systems for potential capabilities such as sensing and coordination among systems, Elzea noted.

The projects focus on cost savings to DOD, critical in a time of budget cuts, Shaffer said.

The program for the initiatives is estimated to cost about $45 million in a three-year period, which is not considered to be a lot of money for a government research program, DOD officials said.

“We are trying to — especially as we go through this tough budget period — incentivize our younger work force,î Shaffer said. ìScientists work to solve problems, and what we are doing with this project is we’ve challenged our in-house researchers to come up with topics that will help us better understand how to do autonomous systems.”

When the pilot initiatives are completed, DOD will have the intellectual property to generate a prototype or to provide to industry to produce the systems, officials said.

The seven initiatives are:

  • Exploiting Priming Effects in Autonomous Cognitive Systems: Develops machine perception that is relatable to the way a human perceives an environment. (Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence, Army Research Laboratory)
  • Autonomous Squad Member: Integrates machine semantic understanding, reasoning and understanding, perception into a ground robotic system. (Army Research Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory, Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence)
  • Autonomy for Adaptive Collaborative Sensing: Develops intelligent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability for sensing platforms to have capability to find and track targets. (Air Force Research Laboratory, Army Research Laboratory; Naval Research Laboratory)
  • Realizing Autonomy via Intelligent Adaptive Hybrid Control: Develops flexible unmanned aerial vehicle operator interface, enabling the operator to “call a play” or manually control the system. (Air Force Research Laboratory, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Naval Research Laboratory, Army Research Laboratory)
  • Autonomy for Air Combat Missions, Mixed Human/Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Teams: Develops goal-directed reasoning, machine learning and operator interaction techniques to enable management of multiple team UAVs. (Air Force Research Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Air Warfare Center, Army Research Laboratory)
  • A Privileged Sensing Network-Revolutionizing Human-Autonomy Integration: Develops integrated human sensing capability to enable the human-machine team. (Army Research Laboratory, Army Tank Automotive Research Center, Air Force Research Laboratory)
  • Autonomous Collective Defeat of Hard and Deeply Buried Targets: Develops small UAV teaming algorithms to enable systems to autonomously search a cave. (Air Force Research Laboratory, Army Research Laboratory, Defense Threat Reduction Agency)



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


 
 

 

Headlines August 1, 2015

News: Marine F-35 jets deemed ready for combat – A small batch of the highly anticipated – and much criticized – F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets have been approved for combat by the U.S. Marine Corps.   News: Reports: China to sell J-10 fighter to Iran, Syria? – Iran is rumored external link to be buying 150...
 
 

News Briefs August 3, 2015

Russian military helicopter crashes during air show, one dead A Russian military helicopter crashed Aug. 2 during an aerobatic display, killing one of its crewmembers and injuring another, the Defense Ministry said. The Mi-28 helicopter gunship was part of a flight of helicopters performing aerobatics at the Dubrovichi firing range in Ryazan region, about 170...
 
 
Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

Improved Multiple Launch Rocket System tested at White Sands Missile Range

Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton A Multiple Launch Rocket System with an improved armored cab fires a training rocket during a test. The rockets were simple training rockets and not equipped with a warhead, but still gen...
 

 

Missile Defense Agency, Raytheon demonstrate SM-6’s new anti-ballistic missile defense capability

In a first-of-its-kind test, the U.S. Navy fired a Raytheon Standard Missile-6, intercepting and destroying a short-range ballistic missile target at sea. The successful U.S. Missile Defense Agency test proved a modified SM-6 can eliminate threat ballistic missiles in their final seconds of flight. “SM-6 is the only missile in the world that can do...
 
 

Northrop Grumman-developed stealthy data link validated as combat ready with U.S. Marine Corps

the U.S. Marine Corps achieving F-35B initial operating capability, the Multifunction Advanced Data Link waveform developed by Northrop Grumman has been proven a key combat-ready capability of the F-35 Lightning II program. MADL is a high-data-rate, directional communications link that allows fifth-generation aircraft to communicate and coordinate tactics covertly. During testing of the Lockhee...
 
 

Lockheed Martin technology helps pilots, UAS operators share data, stay safe

As Unmanned Aircraft Systems take to the skies, it is essential for safety that UAS operators and pilots are aware of each other. To help provide this shared situational awareness, Lockheed Martin has deployed the first components of a UAS traffic management system that is available to the UAS community now. Lockheed Martin’s online Flight...
 




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>