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ONR picks partner for swarm autonomy research

17th January 2022 - 17:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US armed forces are keen to exploit the potential of unmanned swarms. (Image: US Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory)

Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation will investigate ‘heterogeneity across the swarm and super swarm systems’, according to the DoD.

Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation has received a $35.24 million competitively procured research contract from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the Heterogeneous Autonomy Prototyping Evolution initiative.

‘This contract provides for the investigation of heterogeneity across the swarm and super swarm systems,’ the DoD noted on 13 January.

It added: ‘Heterogeneity in multiple sensor modalities will allow for more robust target detection and confidence, and allow for [a] combination of swarm payload variants to achieve the goals of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and targeting missions.’

Georgia Tech Applied Research will also consider how this architecture can work with other autonomy architectures seamlessly to combine for instance heterogeneity in platforms and heterogeneity across domains.

Work will be performed in Atlanta, Georgia, with an expected completion date of 12 January 2025.

Among its priorities, the USN is exploring the architecture for communications and C2 of multiple types of autonomous systems (UAVs, UGVs and USVs) in a littoral explosive hazard defeat environment.

Its research focuses on USMC Marine Expeditionary Unit amphibious operations, and the optimal C2 structure will provide the commander and operators with the appropriate levels of information and controls through a common operating picture.

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