Lockheed Martin proposing automated convoy technology developed for unmanned vehicles to protect soldiers from ambushes and IEDs

DALLAS, 26 May 2010. Engineers at the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Dallas are proposing automation technology developed originally for unmanned ground vehicles to protect U.S. and allied convoys from ambushes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

May 26th, 2010
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DALLAS, 26 May 2010. Engineers at the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Dallas are proposing automation technology developed originally for unmanned ground vehicles to protect U.S. and allied convoys from ambushes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Convoy Active Safety Technology (CAST) system enables convoy vehicles to follow each other autonomously by enabling the first vehicle in the convoy to operate either autonomously or by remote control. Past system designs required the lead vehicle to be under human control.

The autonomous push vehicle was developed to lead a convoy of semi-autonomous follower vehicles into hazardous areas without a human operator on board. Using the AutoMate sensor, actuator, and processing kit, any tactical wheeled vehicle can convert to the push vehicle or perform as part of the convoy, Lockheed Martin officials say.

Autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles using CAST technology in a convoy can maintain safe trajectories and interval distances on developed and undeveloped roadways, avoid obstacles, and operate at full speed -- even in dust or blackout night operations.

Lockheed Martin tested CAST’s new capability this month, showed CAST during the Army’s Robotics Rodeo last year at Fort Hood, Texas. CAST is a development program for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Mich.

CAST technology has logged more than 10,000 miles of operation, enables trucks to follow roads and other vehicles to eliminate rear-end collisions, reduces incidents of running off the road, and enables soldiers to respond to 25 percent more hostile threats and from greater distances, Lockheed Martin officials say.

For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at www.lockheedmartin.com/mfc.

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