Multi-Vehicle Cooperative Control for Teams of Air and Sea Vehicles Performing Littoral Operations

Period of Performance: 09/30/2008 - 12/17/2010

$599K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.
9950 Wakeman Drive Array
Manassas, VA 20110
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Aurora Flight Sciences proposes to continue its development of algorithms for the cooperative tasking of teams comprised of multiple, disparate unmanned vehicles performing a variety of littoral search, inspection, and force protection missions. Aurora will continue to address real-world issues such as distributed implementation over intermittent communication networks; dynamic, stochastic environments; and management of vehicle loss and other multi-vehicle health management issues. Aurora and MIT researchers will continue to transition technologies from the UAV to the USV realm. This collaboration will continue under the context of enabling cooperation among mixed USV/UAV/UUV teams. Further development, optimization and validation of both the MIT-developed Robust Decentralized Task Assignment (RDTA) algorithm and Consensus-Based Auction Algorithm (CBAA) will drive the ongoing On-board Planning Module (OPM) software development activities. By combining the results from the successful Phase I effort with hardware-in-the-loop testing capabilities, and expert knowledge in the integration of autonomy into air and water vehicles, Aurora, with help from MIT researchers, will continue its rapid transition from the concept and simulation phases to the working prototype phase. Aurora team members with past experience derived from the Phase I effort provide the expertise to facilitate the smooth transition to shore-based and in-water testing.