MORGANTOWN, WV -- The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) recently demonstrated autonomous operations by multiple "swarms" of unmanned air and ground vehicles, unattended ground sensors, video cameras and other devices linked together in an intelligent network powered by EdgeFrontier platform technologies from Augusta Systems, Inc. The demonstrations were held at a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) facility on Wallops Island, VA.
"This capability of managing multiple swarms of unmanned vehicles and sensors is a significant achievement," said Patrick Esposito, president and chief executive officer of Augusta Systems. "Working with Augusta Systems and its partner, Vector Research Center, NAVAIR demonstrated autonomous operations of multiple, cooperative swarms, including options for dynamic redirection of assets between the swarms."
The U.S. Department of Defense Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2009–2034 requires advances in autonomous operations, intelligent field-level processing, multi-vehicle common operational control and net-centric connectivity between unmanned systems and other surveillance assets, similar to the functionality demonstrated through the NAVAIR program relying on Augusta Systems EdgeFrontier.
"Since EdgeFrontier powers the intelligent convergence of data, events, and control functions from diverse sources, the software provided an ideal platform to meet NAVAIR's objectives," Esposito said. "During the demonstration, EdgeFrontier enhanced real-time information sharing and response by enabling intelligent connectivity among the various unmanned vehicles and other surveillance devices. This integration was more robust than basic networking as EdgeFrontier supported processing and sharing of data in the field and enabled the unmanned vehicles and other devices to respond to events based upon rules and policies configured within the software."
EdgeFrontier products enable integration and normalization of data, events and control functions from diverse systems, as well as event processing and event and policy-based actions through a policy engine. For the demonstration, these capabilities resulted in a diverse, distributed, interoperable, intelligent network. Specifically, EdgeFrontier was used to create:
- A payload system utilized for data processing and control of sensors and cameras, placed on-board Aerosonde Mk 3 vice III small unmanned aircraft systems from AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company; placed inside unmanned ground vehicles; and co-located in the field with video cameras and unattended ground sensors from Crane Wireless Monitoring Solutions, a Crane Co. business unit.
- The EdgeFrontier-created payload system also served as a platform for hosting of the swarming algorithms developed by Vector Research Center, a division of TechTeam Government Solutions, Inc., a TechTeam Global subsidiary, which are required to support the collaborative control capabilities.
- An operator system interface, featuring a map-based display, relying on third-party geospatial software, for the real-time viewing of unmanned vehicle location and status and sensor and camera data.
"For military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations like the NAVAIR demonstration, as well as for public and private-sector safety and security efforts, EdgeFrontier creates open, interoperable, monitoring and automation solutions," Esposito said. "Intelligent convergence, achieved through our integration and policy engine software, is the key to more robust and dynamic defense, security and safety deployments."
About Augusta Systems
Augusta Systems, Inc. powers the intelligent convergence of devices, systems, and networks. The award-winning Augusta Systems EdgeFrontier products provide configurable technology platforms for building and managing complex monitoring, control, and automation solutions, including applications for safety and security, energy and utility management, asset tracking, building management, and other business functions.