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Micro Autonomous Systems Research: A Methodology for Quantitative Technology Assessment and Prototyping of Unmanned Vehicles

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Technical Report,01 Dec 2012,30 Dec 2013

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Aerospace Design Laboratory Atlanta United States

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A vital requirement of the modern combat environment is to gain and maintain situational awareness to facilitate effective squad-level decision making. Over previous years, Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Tech has supported the Army Research Laboratory ARL in developing design capabilities to assess the operational capability of micro autonomous vehicles to assist at the squad level. In conjunction with Phase I of the contract between ARL and the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory ASDL, development of an autonomous vehicle has evolved to concept selection and building, with testing and validation to occur post fabrication. The vehicle will be chosen from a large set of platform and sensor configurations, to be assessed on criteria pertinent to the combat scenario where it will be implemented. The primary means for defining design selection criteria will be compliance with the Department of Defense Architecture Framework DoDAF, which serves as the Operational Architectural definition for the team. This framework essentially relates the high level capabilities of any vehicle to subsequent activities, and in turn to specific functions. Capabilities, activities, and functions of importance are subjectively ranked for any specific mission, such that the need from a vehicle will change depending upon the medium of operation. The vehicle to be designed will have a primary mission of interior building reconnaissance IBR in a benign, urban workspace. However, there are multiple potential missions requiring additive capabilities, in which the vehicle may operate. Thus, the design chosen must not only fulfill the needs of interior reconnaissance, but must also address, at least at a high level, the ability to operate in diverse environments.

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