Autonomous Military Machines That Work As a Team


Autonomous Military Machines – Drones and Robots.

We are in the age of the drone both personal and military and very soon it will be the autonomous heavily armed drone. It is only a mater of time until military drones from competing countries try to destroy each other. I mean look what is happening with saber rattling between the US and North Korea or between China and the US.

Saudi Arabia buys drones from China

Saudi Arabia buys drones from China

For now I would say the US has the upper hand with the technology but others are catching up quickly. Drones guided by operators located hundreds or thousands of miles away are leading to singular autonomous drones and then it will be flocks ( swarms ) of drones thinking as a single unit.

The first drone dogfight is just around the corner.

This new body of research is aimed a controlling spaceships or satellites as single unit but it easily applies to drones or robots. In fact this does rule out the possibility that the first battle between autonomous or even remote control machines may occur in space!

Autonomous satellites that work as a team may be just around the corner

Autonomous satellites that work as a team may be just around the corner

Of course this is just my opinion right but this is Tek-Think!

New Research in This Area.

A University of Texas at Arlington aerospace engineer has won an Air Force Research Laboratory grant to improve the ability of unmanned vehicle systems to work together and better analyze data collected within an environment.

Kamesh Subbarao, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has received a three-year, $201,000 grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory to create an algorithm that will allow cooperative control of multiple spacecraft and address uncertainties and time delays in the information received.

If successful, Subbarao’s work would allow the Air Force to assign multiple satellites to an object and collect information about it, such as its size, chemical makeup, atmospheric conditions and other data. It also would allow for “smart” deployment that would increase efficiency, yield the most pertinent information and reduce mission costs.

Subbarao said:

If a single spacecraft is observing an object in orbit, its coverage is limited because once the object goes out of view the spacecraft can no longer observe it. We are working to create an algorithm that will allow multiple satellites to be assigned to observe an object, keeping it in constant view and eliminating interference and time delays that cause uncertainties in the data.

This particular grant applies to spacecraft, but the algorithm Subbarao develops ultimately could be used on any unmanned platform. For instance, teaming unmanned ground, air and space vehicles to collect information on disaster site monitoring, forest fires or hurricanes from three different viewpoints would give rescuers or scientists the most complete data possible.

Subbarao’s research is an example of UTA’s work in data-driven discovery, as outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

Efficient, precise analysis of data is becoming more important in today’s world, said Erian Armanios, UTA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Chair.

Armanios said;

As humans continue to use increasingly complex data to explore and interpret our world, it is imperative that we ensure that the data used is as precise as possible. Dr. Subbarao’s work could have an effect on multiple areas of data-driven discovery by allowing better analysis of data, especially when it comes to forecasting. Planning based upon projection of needs is as good as the quality of collected data.

Subbarao and his students will work with the Air Force Research Laboratory to refine simulation models to make sure that his results are reliable. The grant also provides funding to test findings of a prototype algorithm on rover platforms.

Subbarao joined the UTA faculty in 2003 and is a leader of UTA’s Aerospace Systems Laboratory, which conducts research in modeling, simulation and control of mechanical and aerospace systems from a dynamic systems perspective.

He is part of a team that is developing safety systems for unmanned aircraft. Subbarao’s own research focuses on position determination of UAVs using sensors, tracking them for conflict prediction and collision avoidance. He also is developing systems to use existing cellular infrastructure and the Internet to provide locations of UAVs, especially in non-GPS areas.

UTA’s research into unmanned vehicles received a boost in 2014 when the UTA Research Institute received an FAA Certificate of Authorization that allows UTARI to fly and test unmanned vehicles. The College of Engineering offers interdisciplinary certificate programs in unmanned vehicle system technologies and applications.