Cooperative Planning and Control of Future Combat Systems Resupply Operations: A Component-Based Approach

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: DAAE30-03-C-102
Agency Tracking Number: A022-0359
Amount: $119,939.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
50 Mall Road, Burlington, MA, 01803
Duns: N/A
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Hyland
 Lead Software Engineer
 (781) 273-3388
Business Contact
 Andrew Mullin
Title: General Counsel/Dir. of C
Phone: (781) 273-3388
Research Institution
ALPHATECH proposes a component-based software architecture and algorithms approach for multi-vehicle intelligent planning and control to support Future Combat Systems (FCS) resupply operations. The proposed system will enable a small number of humanoperators to rapidly develop, execute, and continuously update resupply plans that coordinate the activities of multiple materials-handling equipment (conventional, robotic, and/or fully autonomous) to meet tight deadlines and minimize idle time. Ourthree-level architecture integrates recent advances in constraint-based reasoning with state-of-the-art algorithms for hierarchical control. The top level implements a logistics-planning assistant that helps human operators develop and maintain feasiblemulti-vehicle plans and schedules. This level casts logistics planning as a constraint satisfaction problem providing a powerful means to translate complicated resupply plans into feasible control directives. A mid-level mission coordination moduleoversees plan execution, in turn employing vehicle-level controllers to manage the movement of individual vehicles. This research will provide a solid foundation for later work under Phase 2, which will harden and integrate our system into ARDEC's SmartCrane test bed, extend the approach to handle increasingly complex multi-vehicle resupply operations, and harmonize our approach with FCS's emerging sustainment CONOPS. This technology will help the FCS logistics officer prepare and execute efficientlogistics plans with reduced personnel. Operations managers benefit from cooperative multi-vehicle schedules that automatically resolve contention and satisfy deadlines. Material Handling Equipment (MHE) operators are provided with prioritized task listsand increased logistical awareness. The proposed research addresses a critical problem faced by automated material handling, warehouse, and the seaport container handling industries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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