Collaborative Sensor Fusion and Management for Multiple UAVs
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being used by the military to gather Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) information in warfare environments. Of particular interest is the tracking of multiple targets for global situational awareness. To accomplish this mission, UAVs can be equipped with a myriad of different types of sensors which can be combined in complementary ways for increased tracking performance. It is critical to get the right combination of sensors at the right location(s) at the right time, and to do so in a complex environment of targets, friendly forces, and air vehicles. To achieve this capability Aurora is proposing to pursue the work accomplished during Phase I and develop a prototype software package embodying the core algorithms enabling collaborative multi-target tracking, and validate this prototype in realistic hardware-in-the-loop simulations and flight-test demonstrations. For this purpose Aurora will continue to work with MIT to further increase the capabilities and performance of the system, finalizing the core technologies, and leverage the team"s considerable infrastructure for multi-vehicle testing, developed over the past 4 years, to successfully validate and demonstrate the system"s performance. Aurora"s work to date on multi-vehicle coordination puts it in a unique position to reach this goal. BENEFIT: Military planners across all the services have identified the need for technologies that provide 1) real-time or near-real time automated sensing and understanding of the battle space using multiple distributed unmanned platforms; 2) autonomous platform and surveillance tasking to recognize and identify threats and hold them at risk; 3) integration of disparate autonomous capabilities; and 4) implementation of these in an open, non-proprietary architecture. Aurora"s tools will directly address these needs. By virtue of its place in the military UAS market, Aurora is motivated to provide open and extensible tools that can be integrated as third-party software or hardware components onto a broad range of UAVs; this perspective, as well as Aurora"s ongoing commitment to the military standards and common-control development efforts, will benefit the Air Force as well as other military UAS end-users, providing them with cross-platform collaboration, path planning, and sensor fusion tools for team situations. Commercial applications will emerge as well, as UAVs become more accepted for civilian use, and include fire reconnaissance and fire-fighting support, search and rescue, and homeland security. All of these applications will benefit from efficient use of resources and intelligent fusion of sensor measurements.
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Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
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