Intelligent Multi-Agent System for Coordinating Multiple FCS Platforms

Period of Performance: 01/17/2003 - 07/16/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Architecture Technology Corp.
9971 Valley View Road Array
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Principal Investigator


Battlefields of the future will consist of highly mobile, light forces that are supported by intelligent software, autonomous systems, and robotic platforms. The Future Combat Systems (FCS) concept embraces the use of tele-operated, semi-autonomous, and autonomous systems that will be coordinated together to provide both battle support as well as logistics capabilities. Coordination of multiple FCS platforms will require not only intelligent software for planning and scheduling, but also infrastructure support for autonomously executing tasks and allowing tele-operation when necessary across wireless battlefield networks. This Phase I research addresses the challenging problem of executing resupply, logistics, and other material handling missions upon distributed FCS platforms, and across wired/wireless networks. The approach includes a layered infrastructure of wired/wireless networking services, proxy and distributed processing, agent-based behaviors, remote tele-operative services, and mixed-initiative planning and scheduling technologies that will support the planning, control, coordination, and reconfiguration across multiple FCS platforms. The proposed design aims at maximizing commonality, reuse, and adaptability across platform type and configurations (for both legacy and next generation FCS platforms). Also, the design includes approaches for controlling platforms within tele-operational, semi-autonomous/ supervisory, and fully autonomous modes. Thus, providing the FCS operator with maximum control and flexibility over multiple platforms. This research will support critical DOD Future Combat Systems applications as well as other distributed control applications in autonomous unmanned vehicles, sensor networks, intelligent minefields, and battlefield robotics. Commercial applications include: intelligent highway and air traffic control; work-cell manufacturing; industrial inspection; job-shop scheduling; intelligent robotics; personal assistants (softbots); and mobility aids for the handicapped.