Current tactical radios and electronic warfare systems are packaged as separate point-solutions requiring their own packaging, cooling, processing elements, and antennas. Emerging initiatives seek to establish a common communication infrastructure and processing architecture to consolidate and develop these functions. A significant tactical overmatch may be achieved by fully analyzing electromagnetic (EM) spectral information and combining it with coordinated software-defined radio communications; however, these applications require tremendous amounts of computational power to process the EM signals and execute the associated algorithms. Capabilities such as jamming, direction-finding, spoofing, and stealth communications can all be enhanced and made more efficient with HPC technologies; these may prove to be crucial advantages in future conflicts.

Increased reliance upon software-intensive designs and networked communications increases cyber vulnerabilities in addition to electromagnetic warfare threats. Designing in cyber protection requires cyber testing over the systems’ lifecycle, including vulnerabilities created from integrating multiple disparate systems. In-lab testing of cyber and electronic warfare vulnerabilities through emulation with hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) is a proven method for evaluation and analysis of integrated systems as part of an LVC (Live/Virtual/Constructive) strategy. HPC on the vehicle will support in-situ emulation, advanced intrusion detection systems, anomaly detection, and machine learning methods to rapidly identify unexpected behaviors.


Figure 2. Networking diagram for mobile HPC on NGCV including autonomy sensors, situational awareness sensing, CANBUS (Controller Area Network bus), and highspeed interconnect.

Integrating all of the future capabilities and intelligence for the NGCV will require a strategy for mobile HPC. Additionally, the challenges and solution look different than the solution for commercial vehicles. The computer architectures will need to support autonomous or assisted mobility, much like commercial vehicles. Additional functionality — such as unrestricted mobility, cyber analysis, and course-of-action analysis — will require a recipe of heterogeneous open-source and commercial off-the-shelf devices. More functionality must be included in the vehicle to support fully autonomous maneuvering in a multidomain battlespace. Figure 2 illustrates this vision and connectivity for mobile HPC that is general-purpose and able to interact and integrate with dedicated computing resources from multiple sources and vendors.

Achieving this vision of advanced AI on the NGCV will require a risk reduction effort that rapidly provides evaluations of technologies and capabilities for transition from basic and applied research to prototypes and live demonstrations. Evaluation of algorithms, software, and hardware capabilities will require hardware and human-in-the-loop testbed capabilities to create a synthetic environment for sensor data, vehicle physics, and so on.

This article was written by Brian J. Henz and Dale Shires of the Army Research Laboratory Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Leonard Elliot of the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Detroit Arsenal, MI; and Michael Barton of Parsons Corporation, Columbia, MD. For more information, visit here.