Feature Representations for Enhanced Multi-Agent Navigation Strategies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-13-C-0159
Agency Tracking Number: F121-104-1865
Amount: $749,356.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-104
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
600 West Cummings Park, Suite 6500, Woburn, MA, -
DUNS: 964928464
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joel Douglas
 Vice President
 (781) 503-3285
Business Contact
 Melinda Wood
Title: Director, Business Operat
Phone: (603) 718-9800
Email: melinda.wood@systemstechnologyresearch.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The U.S. military has achieved unsurpassed air superiority in recent conflicts, a feat that is unlikely to continue as we face increasingly sophisticated adversaries. Operating within an Anti-Access / Area Denial (A2AD) environment requires highly capable platforms that can coordinate to achieve a mission objective. To support this vision, we will develop compact feature representations of scenes that enable multiplatform scene matching, geolocation, and mapping over bandwidth constrained data links. Our approach is based on a statistical hierarchical framework that learns the representation directly from the observed data. We will develop a both the statistical models and the corresponding algorithms for generating virtual maps from imagery, evaluate algorithm tradeoffs, and demonstrate real-time mapping and scene recognition from multiple agents. We will evaluate both the accuracy in matching scenes and the computational complexity. We will also evaluate the interpretability of the scene representations by humans to support human-in-the-loop control and processing. BENEFIT: The military is increasingly relying on autonomous agents to keep personnel safe while achieving critical missions. Today, the military uses robots to detect and neutralize IEDs, and the Air Force is initiating research in autonomous weapons platforms. The technology we are developing is directly aimed at supporting these missions. In the near term, our technology is most applicable to mapping systems, for example, platforms that are mapping a region of interest. It will also have commercial application to emergency search and rescue, remote exploration, and other robotic applications.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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