Coordinated Sensor Fusion and Management for Multiple UAVs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8750-09-C-0100
Agency Tracking Number: F083-054-0619
Amount: $99,906.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-054
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive, Manassas, VA, 20110
DUNS: 604717165
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Olivier Toupet
 Sr. Materials Design Engi
 (617) 500-4813
Business Contact
 Diana Eichfeld
Title: Vice President - Operatio
Phone: (703) 396-6329
Research Institution
Two disparate technologies associated with net-centric warfare have reached a fairly high level of maturity:  tactical control of UAVs and sensor fusion within and across high-value platforms. However, incorporation of local UAV data into the intelligence datastream is still limited, and more importantly, coordination of data gathering platforms is not automated or optimized. As the number of UAVs in the battlespace increases, the potential for fast and accurate localization, identification, designation, and prosecution of time-sensitive targets will only be realized if mechanisms for coordinating assets are developed. Aurora is proposing to develop an approach that covers all the aspects of the solicited technology for multi-platform multi-sensor (MPMS) tracking of multiple targets from sensor modeling to data association and fusion, to optimal sensor, platform and information management. Innovative resource allocation algorithms based on the Robust Decentralized Task Assignment (RDTA) technique jointly developed by Aurora and MIT and successfully demonstrated in recent STTR and SBIR efforts will be developed and implemented to allow multiple UAVs to optimally coordinate, efficiently directing the available sensors to collect the information required to effectively perform their missions. Auroras work to date on multi-vehicle coordination puts it in a unique position to meet the MPMS coordination challenge. BENEFIT: Whether integrated into a large battlespace or used locally by a team of UAVs supporting special forces, there is significant warfighter value available from methodologies for multi-platform multiple-sensor (MPMS) coordination for the purpose of optimizing information extraction from ISR data fusion.  Simply having many sensors in the sky, especially limited capability sensors (due to UAV cost/size limits), is not sufficient to meet the Air Forces vision for dominance through information superiority. 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. Thus we see the MPMS problem as an opportunity to provide the final link in the net-centric warfare chain a chain which includes UAV platform technologies, sensor and sensor fusion technologies, communication, human interfaces and control, and multi-vehicle coordination. While the focus of this development effort will be on meeting the needs of the Air Force, Aurora will also seek other commercial applications of the technology. In addition to its wide military application including ISR missions, it is envisioned that the developed technology for coordinated sensor fusion and management can be used for numerous civil operations such as traffic flow and delay assessment, forest fire monitoring, border security, civilian search and rescue, weather and climate studies, and even space/Mars exploration.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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