Autonomous Trackless Vehicle Target

Period of Performance: 06/26/2012 - 12/25/2012

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication
29600 W. K. Smith Dr Array
New Hudson, MI 48165
Principal Investigator

Abstract

At the heart of the US armed services effectiveness is their extensive background training. US soldiers, airmen, and others are put through exhaustive training, and their warfighting effectiveness is directly related to the quality of the training received. Part of this training includes live fire training exercises using drone targets to expose trainees to more realistic situations. Such targets have been in use for many years, using configurations that are reasonably limited. In particular, some targets operate with towed configurations or on static rail lines. These existing rail-based targets are inadequate; it is difficult to emulate behaviors of real-world targets with them, and, perhaps even more problematically, they inherently beget predictability. Fortunately, current generation unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technology provides a potential solution. In this project, we propose to create AVeTar: a Modular, Unmanned, Trackless Target System with Behavioral Capabilities. AVeTar will be highly-configurable, unmanned vehicles with sophisticated command and control capabilities and the ability to execute behaviors that emulate real-world encounters. It will be engineered to enable trainers to create and deploy scenario-based content quickly and easily, and integrate within existing and future training programs. When fully realized, this technology will enable substantially more robust, useful live-fire training exercises.