Machinery & Automation

Autonomous Underwater Munitions and Explosives of Concern Detection System

The objective of Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Project MR-201002, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) Detection System, was to integrate an untethered and unmanned underwater vehicle with a total field magnetometer for underwater munitions detection and upgrade magnetic noise compensation software to reduce interference from electrical and dynamic influences such as vehicle heading, pitch and roll.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Sensors and actuators, Noise, Hazards and emergency management, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment
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Power-Line UAV Modeling and Simulation

The Army Research Laboratory Power-Line Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Modeling and Simulation (ARL-PLUMS) Software Tool allows a user to model, compute, and analyze the quasistatic electric and magnetic fields around alternating current (AC) power lines. ARL-PLUMS comes with an interactive graphical user interface (GUI), which accesses a compute engine to calculate these fields around these lines due to various ground and line geometries and load conditions. ARLPLUMS allows the user to rapidly define all significant model parameters and compute the electric and magnetic fields along a UAV path or in a cutting plane. In addition, a set of false-color plots can be created to show the time-varying nature of the fields as a movie. ARL-PLUMS also comes with an application programming interface (API) for accessing some of these features from MATLAB without using the GUI.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, CAD / CAM / CAE, Electric cables, Human machine interface (HMI), Noise, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Design of a Multi-Segmented Magnetic Robot for Hull Inspection

Hull, deck plate, and tank inspection for corrosion, deformation, and fractures is a necessary part of ship maintenance to ensure functional integrity and proper operation of the ship. These inspections are labor intensive, expensive, and often dangerous. A multi-segmented magnetic wheeled robot can assist the surveyors in these tasks.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Robotics, Vehicle inspections, Marine vehicles and equipment
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A Modular Approach to Video Designation of Manipulation Targets for Mobile Manipulators

Currently fielded EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) robots are limited in terms of both mechanical ability and autonomous capabilities when compared to the current state-of-the-art in mobile robotics. To combat this problem the Joint Service EOD Program is developing the Advanced EOD Robot System (AEODRS). AEODRS consists of three system variants that vary in size: small for dismounted operations, medium for tactical operations, and large for base/infrastructure operations. Differing from past EOD UGV development efforts, these robots will be designed under a modular architecture consisting of several capability modules that are to be developed separately.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Architecture, Robotics, Hazards and emergency management, Military vehicles and equipment
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Two-Dimensional Distributed Velocity Collision Avoidance

As the number of autonomous vehicles continues to increase for both commercial and military applications, collision avoidance algorithms are of the utmost importance to successfully execute missions in dynamic environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Mathematical models, Collision avoidance systems, Autonomous vehicles
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Undersea Communications Between Submarines and Unmanned Undersea Vehicles in a Command and Control Denied Environment

Nuclear powered submarines can stay submerged for days at a time and only have to come to periscope depth (PD) for communications and minor house-keeping items. Submarines are completely reliant on satellites for communications and orders from their commanders ashore. A command and control denied environment (C2DE) is an area in which communications are jammed or degraded. There is no technology currently available that allows submarines to conduct communications in a C2DE. The only method currently available is for the submarine to navigate to unaffected waters, conduct all of its communications, and then to travel back to the C2DE, wasting valuable time and possibly compromising the submarine’s mission.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Vehicle networking, Wireless communication systems, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment, Satellites
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UAV Can Launch Aerial Missions from Underwater

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, have developed an innovative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can stay on station beneath the water until needed, then launch into the air to perform a variety of missions. The Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System — or CRACUNS — is a submersible UAV that can be launched from a fixed position underwater, or from an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). A team from APL’s Force Projection Sector worked with fabrication experts in the Research and Exploratory Development Department to create a new type of unmanned vehicle that can operate effectively in two very different arenas: air and water.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Robotics
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Robotic Falcon Captures and Retrieves Renegade Drones

Michigan Technological University is developing a drone catcher that could pursue and capture rogue drones that might threaten military installations, air traffic, sporting events — even the White House. It’s a deceptively simple system: a launcher that shoots a big net attached to a large drone by a string. The system can be autonomous, controlled by a ground-based human pilot, or a combination of the two.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Robotics
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Cockroach-Inspired Robots Open Doors for Military Missions

Supported by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, University of California-Berkeley researchers have developed a small, crawling robot that mimics a cockroach's ability to squeeze through confined spaces. These spaces include rubble generated by natural disasters and explosions that first responders may not be able to access in emergencies.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Robotics
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Soldiers Field-Test Robotics Technology

Picture a hot summer day in Afghanistan, and a company of 25th Infantry Division soldiers preparing to move to a new area of operation. Instead of using their legs and backs, these soldiers are fortunate enough to have a small robot to help them on the battlefield. It could provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance without putting soldiers in harm's way. Technology like this can be the future of the battlefield and 25th Infantry Division soldiers have been testing this theory.

Posted in: News, Defense, Automation, Robotics
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