Information Science

Supervisory Control State Diagrams to Depict Autonomous Activity

The military seeks to enable agile and adaptive mission management and control for a team comprised of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unattended ground sensors (UGS), dismounted war-fighters with mobile control stations, and an operator located in a central control station. With UAVs equipped and authorized to re-plan and act without human input, the challenge is developing methods for a human operator to sufficiently monitor, inspect, and manipulate the UAVs’ activities, which include goal-directed task selection, situation assessment, decision-making, planning, and actions.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Information Technology, Sensors and actuators, Human factors, Military vehicles and equipment, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Aerodynamic Modeling of a Flapping Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The phenomenon of flapping wing flight in nature has been studied for centuries. Recently, flapping flight for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications has become of interest. Flapping wing flight offers many potential advantages over traditional fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Fixed-wing UAVs have the advantages of long range and endurance, and high payload capabilities; however, they require high forward flight speeds and most configurations cannot hover, which makes them difficult to control in confined spaces.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Information Technology, Airframes, Wings, Computer simulation, Aerodynamics, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Queuing Model for Supervisory Control of Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles

One critical aspect in developing a quantitative model of unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) operator and system performance has been to adopt a task-centric approach to interface design that entails an explicit representation of actions or tasks that need to be performed by the operator. The representation of work in terms of a task serves as a trace in the system that enables designers to track workload in addition to the task progress and flow of tasks among team members. In supervisory control, the focus is the flow of tasks (work) through a system that is composed of human servers and automated servers (software agents).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Information Technology, Computer simulation, Human machine interface (HMI), Autonomous vehicles, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Real-Time, High-Fidelity Simulation of Autonomous Ground Vehicle Dynamics

Integrated simulation capabilities that are high-fidelity, fast, and have scalable architecture are essential to support autonomous vehicle design and performance assessment for the Army’s growing use of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). A mobility simulation of an autonomous vehicle in an off-road scenario was developed using integrated sensor, controller, and multibody dynamics models.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Information Technology, Computer simulation, Architecture, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment, Off-highway vehicles and equipment

Software for Material/Structural Characterization Across Length Scales

Synthetic and natural micro-architectures occur frequently, and multiphase functionally graded composites are becoming increasingly popular for applications requiring optimized/tailored material properties. When dealing with such materials computationally, one issue that immediately arises is the analysis of the mechanical properties of macroscopically inhomogeneous multi-scale structures. The bulk response of these structures can be determined by performing full finite element analysis (FEA); that is, with the entire geometry discretized at a resolution high enough to accurately model the smallest length scale of interest. However, these full models may easily exceed hundreds of millions, or potentially billions, of degrees of freedom, and solving problems of this magnitude may only be possible with the use of supercomputing facilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Information Technology, Computer software / hardware, Composite materials, Materials properties

Model Development Using Accelerated Simulations of Hypersonic Flow Features

Currently, the two main computational tools used by the aerothermodynamics community to model hypersonic flows are Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) particle method. Both use essentially the same physical models for rotational-vibrational excitation and dissociation phenomenon, which are based on a limited number of near-equilibrium experiments performed at low temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Information Technology, Computational fluid dynamics, Thermal testing, Aerodynamics

Terrain Model as an Interface for Real-Time Vehicle Dynamics Simulations

In order to enable off-road vehicle dynamics analysis simulations when traveling on soft soil, a deformable Vehicle Terrain Interface (VTI) model that interfaces with existing vehicle and tire dynamics models was developed. It is modularized to be interfaced to a multibody dynamics vehicle that supports the Standard Tire Interface (STI). Any tire model can be used that supports the STI as well; currently, both rigid and flexible tire models are supported.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Information Technology, Tires and traction, Computer simulation, Off-highway vehicles and equipment, Vehicle dynamics

Thermal-to-Visible Face Recognition

For nighttime surveillance, acquisition of visible light imagery is impractical due to the lack of illumination. Thermal imaging, which acquires mid-wave infrared or long-wave infrared radiation naturally emitted by the human body, can be utilized in low-light conditions to perform surveillance tasks. Identification of individuals captured by thermal imaging would significantly enhance nighttime intelligence gathering capabilities. However, government watch lists and databases almost exclusively contain visible-light face imagery of individuals of interest. Matching thermal face imagery to the existing databases therefore requires the development of across-modality face recognition algorithms and methods. Due to the large modality gap caused by the wavelength difference between visible and thermal radiation, thermal-to-visible face recognition is a challenging problem.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Mathematical models, Surveillance, Thermodynamics, Identification, Visibility

Analysis of Mine Impulse Data Using Stereo-Digital Image Correlation

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other traditional under-body blast weapons are a significant threat to military ground vehicle systems. Engineers and scientists attempting to analyze the effects of under-body blast events have an array of commercial and internally developed tools at their disposal, each with its own set of limitations. Finite element (FE) models offer the capability to evaluate the entire event sequence from the detonation of the buried explosive to the response of the occupant. However, FE models for full system-level mine events require significant time for input preparation, debugging, and computation.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Finite element analysis, Imaging, Defense industry, Hazards and emergency management, Military vehicles and equipment

Two-Way, Freeform, Speech-to-Speech Translation Systems for Tactical Use

The Spoken Language Communication and Translation System for Tactical Use (TRANSTAC) is developing and fielding freeform, two-way translation systems that enable speakers of different languages to communicate with one another in real-world tactical situations without an interpreter. To date, several prototype systems have been developed for traffic control points, facilities inspection, civil affairs, medical screening, and combined operations domains in Iraqi Arabic (IA), Mandarin, Farsi, Pashto, Dari, and Thai. Systems have been demonstrated on various-size platforms ranging from personal digital assistants (PDAs) to laptop-grade platforms.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Computer software / hardware, Cryptography, Terminology, Military vehicles and equipment