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Modeling of Complex Environment for Unmanned Ground Vehicles Performance Evaluations

Description:

OBJECTIVE: Develop a simulation environment including different building materials and weather conditions to further evaluate existing radio, waveform and antenna models for use in Unmanned Ground Vehicles mission applications. DESCRIPTION: Most of the current fielded Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) functionality is dependent on the ability to drive the UGV using teleoperation technology. In addition a large number of payloads require teleoperation to perform their mission function. Teleoperation technology is dependent on providing the operator streaming video, which is reliant on radio capabilities along with video format, resolution and compression routines. Field testing of different radios, antennas and waveforms can be expensive and somewhat inconclusive for complex environments involving missions such as building clearing. The ability to model channel characteristics like latency, packet/data loss and distorted signal of radio waveforms on functions such as teleoperation and displaying these characteristics realtime on an Operator Control Unit (OCU) as distorted signals, loss of vehicle and manipulator control, etc. has been done using commercial-off-the-shelf tools. However, building clearing involves a more complex data set than current tools model. There is a need to evaluate different building materials such as wood, steel and concrete; and their realtime effects on various radios and waveforms. In addition, architectural configurations of different floors, rooms, halls and interiors will also impact radio performance, and should be evaluated. Repeaters are being looked at as a potential solution for maintaining signal strength at the OCU. Being able to model these complex environments and the impacts on the signal quality of different radio and antenna options would be a valuable tool. Weather also provides an effect on radio performance and signal strengths. Current modeling tools only address weather at a low resolution. Providing a more complex weather environment such as wind, rain, snow, fog and dust that would accurately impact the performance of the Qualnet realtime radio modeling is important. This topic is seeking advancements in the simulation environment that can impact radio modeling being performed by Qualnet commercial-off-the-shelf tools. Building materials and weather modeling will need to send updated data and information to the radio modeling tool that can then be used to impact the latency, packet/data loss and signal strength of streaming video algorithms for performance evaluation. Assume that existing simulation environment federation tools such as Modeling Architecture for Technology Research and EXperimentation (MATREX) will be able to support some of the transfer of data between the simulation environment and radio modeling. PHASE I: The first phase consists of investigating the best way to ingest building materials into existing databases and researching potential weather models that can be leveraged for this effort. Research into the potential advantages and disadvantageous of various methods of transferring data between the complex environment tools and realtime radio modeling shall be conducted. Feasibility of the proposed approach or potential approaches for down select should be demonstrated through simple subset simulation of the end product. A final report documenting the activities in the project will be delivered. PHASE II: The second phase consists of a final design and full implementation of the system. At the end of the contract, complete building materials and their interiors will be modeled along with the selected weather model integrated into a seamless real time application with the commercial-off-the-shelf radio modeling tools. Deliverables shall include the complete simulation environment performing a relevant military application that sufficiently tests the building material and weather models, and a final report, which shall contain documentation of all activities in this project and a user's guide and technical specifications for the simulation system. PHASE III: Commercial opportunities include any applications that require evaluation of radios for sending streaming video through complex urban environments. Some of the many potential applications include civilian search and rescue, and fire fighting, along with military applications in surveillance and reconnaissance. Additionally, this research has application for controlling multiple robots, or autonomous robotic teaming applications. REFERENCES: 1. Initial Investigation of Surface Waves on Walls Over the WLAN Spectrum, Morrow, I.L.; James, J.R.; Cushnaghan, P.; Fairweather, A.S.; Antennas and Propagation, 2003. (ICAP 2003). Twelfth International Conference on (Conf. Publ. No. 491), Volume: 1, 2003, Page(s): 76 79. 2. A Wireless Propagation Channel Model with Meteorological Quantities Using Neural Networks, Moazzeni, T.; Consumer Communications and Networking Conference, 2006. CCNC 2006. 3rd IEEE, Volume: 2, 2006 , Page(s): 1307 - 1309 3. SNT,"QualNet-5.1-Wireless-ModelLibrary", www.scalable-networks.com, 2011. 4. SNT,"Interface Design Description (IDD) for Communication Effects Server (CES) 7.0. Rev N", December 22, 2010. 5. SNT,"QualNet-5.0.2-UrbanPropagation-ModelLibrary", www.scalable-networks.com, 2011.
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