Tech Briefs

Soldier-Robot Team Communication: An Investigation of Exogenous Orienting Visual Display Cues and Robot Reporting Preferences

The advancement of robot capabilities and functionality has changed the way in which soldiers perform many of their operational tasks. The various unmanned air, ground, and submersible vehicles currently deployed have significantly impacted present-day warfare.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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GPS Enabled Semi-Autonomous Robot

The primary objective of this research is to integrate GPS and local sensory data to allow a robot to operate semi-autonomously outside of a laboratory environment. The Pioneer 3-AT, a robust platform capable of operating in the outdoors, is utilized in this project. The P3-AT has acoustic sensors that can calculate distances to obstacles and encoders that calculate how much each wheel has turned. In a laboratory environment, sensory and encoder information can be used to triangulate position or measure distance and direction traveled from a known starting point. Operating outdoors limits the effectiveness of both systems as the obstacles are not known and wheels can often slip and slide on different surfaces. This necessitates external data to determine the location of the robot. GPS was chosen to provide that data. GPS, acoustic, and encoder data were integrated within MATLAB and provided control signals to the robot.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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Development of a Vision-Based Situational Awareness Capability for Unmanned Surface Vessels

Using unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for “dull, dirty and dangerous missions” is gaining traction in recent years as it removes the human element from a potentially life-threatening environment in missions such as mine hunting or maritime interdiction. Current USVs rely on human operators sitting in remote control stations to monitor the vessels’ surroundings and perform collision detection and avoidance. This reliance on the human operator constrains the operating envelope of the USV as it requires a high bandwidth and low latency communication link for safe operations, especially in waters with heavy traffic.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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Designing for Compressive Sensing: Compressive Art, Camouflage, Fonts, and Quick Response Codes

Compressive sensing (CS) is a relatively new field that has caused a lot of excitement in the signal processing community. It has superseded Shannon's time-honored sampling theorem, which states that the sampling rate of a signal must be at least twice its highest frequency. In CS, the necessary sampling rate depends on the sparsity of signal, not its highest frequency, reducing sampling requirements for many signals that exhibit natural sparsity. This compression happens on the hardware level, allowing systems to be designed with benefits ranging from increased resolution and frame rates to decreased power consumption and memory usage. Despite this enthusiasm for CS and the large quantity of research being performed, the number of commercial systems that use CS is relatively few. The problem of designing a CS strategy that increases functionality while actually reducing overall system cost has not been solved in many areas. This is a developing field where not only are new applications for CS still being developed, but also fundamental aspects of CS theory are still evolving.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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Calculation of Weapon Platform Attitude and Cant Using Available Sensor Feedback

When firing artillery, there is typically a maximum angle that the platform cannot exceed relative to the Earth plane. This is due to the large recoil forces involved and the risk of destabilizing the platform the weapon is mounted to. Mobile systems are particularly sensitive to this as the attitude of the platform relative to Earth is constantly changing. A simple solution is to add pitch and roll sensors directly to the platform. However, many mobile systems already have an assortment of sensors that can be used to calculate the platform attitude.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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Validation of Automated Prediction of Blood Product Needs Algorithm Processing Continuous Non-Invasive Vital Signs Streams (ONPOINT4)

Hemorrhagic shock occurs frequently in natural and man-made disaster scenarios. To control bleeding and to provide necessary resuscitation, swift and accurate diagnosis and decision-making are required. Early recognition of bleeding and the need for targeted interventions could improve both survival and resource management, allowing the receiving hospital to prepare required blood, surgeons, or other resources in advance of patient arrival and to conserve valuable resources in those patients who are not bleeding. Resources can be saved through avoidance of over-triage, thereby reducing unnecessary air transport, unnecessary blood transfusions, and unnecessary evaluation with labs, X-rays, and computed tomography scans, which is important in all resource-constrained and austere environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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Phonon Confinement Effect in TiO2 Nanoparticles as Thermosensor Materials

TiO2 or ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) have a very strong finite-size dependency in their Raman spectra or photoluminescence (PL) spectra due to the phonon confinement effect or the quantum confinement effect. Together with a fast grain growth kinetics and a high stability under high temperature and pressure, they can forensically retain the complete thermal history of an event. By spatially distributing these NPs during thermal events such as blasts or weapon tests, a spatially and temporally non-uniform thermal environment can be determined by a direct read off their Raman or PL spectra at various locations.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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