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Architecture for Autonomy: Implementation and Usage on the Raptor UGV

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Technical memo

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In 2002 Defence RD Canada changed research direction from pure tele-operated land vehicles to general autonomy for land, air, and sea craft. The unique constraints of the military environment coupled with the complexity of autonomous systems drove DRDC to carefully plan a research and development infrastructure. This infrastructure, using a Component Based Software Engineering approach, would provide state of the art tools that didn t restrict the research scope thus allowing DRDC to pursue its long-term research goals. DRDC s long term objectives for its autonomy program address disparate unmanned ground vehicle UGV, unattended ground sensor UGS, air UAV, and subsea and surface UUV and USV vehicles operating together with minimal human oversight Collectively known as UxVs. The individual systems may range in complexity from simple reconnaissance mini-UAVs to sophisticated autonomous combat UGVs. These systems, when integrated into a common command and control structure that included manned elements, can provide long endurance, low risk battlefield services. A key enabling technology for DRDC s autonomy research is a software architecture that meets both current and future requirements. DRDC adopted the Component Based Software Engineering philosophy to develop its software architecture known as the Architecture for Autonomy . Although a well established practice in computing science, CBSE using frameworks has only recently entered common use in the field of UxV development. For industry and government, the complexity, cost, and time to re-implement stable systems often exceeds the perceived benefits of adopting a modern software infrastructure. Thus, most persevere with legacy software, adapting and modifying software when and wherever possible or necessary adopting strategic software frameworks only when no justifiable legacy exists.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Surface Transportation and Equipment
  • Navigation and Guidance

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