Army researchers turn their attention to unmanned vehicle control, teaming, and autonomy

FORT MONMOUTH, N.J., 11 Oct. 2009. U.S. Army researchers are looking for defense companies able to suggest advanced approaches to control autonomous unmanned air vehicle (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) formations that are working as teams in and around cities and other complex operating environments.

Oct 11th, 2009

FORT MONMOUTH, N.J., 11 Oct. 2009. U.S. Army researchers are looking for defense companies able to suggest advanced approaches to control autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) formations that are working as teams in and around cities and other complex operating environments.

Scientists in the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at Fort Monmouth, N.J. are trying to identify companies for potential future programs with expertise in unmanned vehiclecommand and control (C2), as well as in unmanned vehicle autonomy, teaming and swarming, mission planning and replanning, and communications among unmanned systems.

CERDEC officials working with the battle command division of the center's command and control directorate are issuing an industry request for information (RFI solicitation W15P7T08RP001) to compile data on:

-- existing and potential industry technology for C2 of unmanned systems;
-- industry experience in architecture, algorithms, vehicle interfaces, decision aides, and other technologies relevant to unmanned systems command and control; and
-- potential strategies to craft a future Army advanced technology demonstration program with unmanned vehicle autonomy, control, and teaming in mind.

Responses, which are due by 10 Nov., should be framed as information papers. Army officials caution that this RFI is for planning only, and will not result directly in requests for proposals or contracts.

Specifically, Army researchers this year plan to focus their efforts on command and control of unmanned systems, and information they receive from this RFI will help them in fine-tuning their planning, which will involve:

-- software coordinate mission planning and execution for several different unmanned vehicles;
-- dynamic, real-time management and synchronization of unmanned air and ground vehicles;
-- behaviors and algorithms for heterogeneous unmanned vehicle teaming;
-- integrating high-resolution complex environment wind, terrain, weather effects, and sensor performance models into mission planning;
-- information and knowledge management software to share unmanned sensor data throughout the network based on available bandwidth and policy restrictions;
-- aligning efforts with existing programs; and
-- moving prototype software to an existing Army program to help fighting forces deploy unmanned systems for operations in urban and complex environments.

To respond, post papers at https://abop.monmouth.army.mil no later than 4:30 p.m. eastern time on 10 Nov.

The contracting officer for this RFI is Jerry Winters, whose e-mail address is jerry.winters@us.army.mil. The point of contact is Gloria Prettiman, whose phone number is 410-436-1749, and e-mail address is gloria.prettiman@conus.army.mil.

More information is available online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USA/USAMC/DAAB07/W15P7T08RP001/listing.html.

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-- Posted by John Keller, jkeller@pennwell.com. www.milaero.com.

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