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Activity title

Interoperability for Semi-Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Activity Reference

IST-179 (AI2S)

Panel

Information Systems Technology

Security Classification

NATO UNCLASSIFIED

Status

Proposed

Activity type

RTG

Start date

2019

End date

2022

Keywords

C2, Interoperability, Military robotics, Standards, UGV

Background

Interoperability is an important topic that often is taken for granted in our daily life. You can plug a device into your computer and expect it to work and e-mail and calendars are synchronized with all your devices, all this are possible because standards for communicating between devices are used. However, this simplicity has not yet come to the military domain. Still each nation’s units and information systems does not communicate with each other. Standards do exists, but are still not widely used in all fields. This group would like to increase interoperability between coalition Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) and their command and control (C2) systems by using standards. The RTG will continue the activities of IST-149-RTG on “Capability Concept Demonstrator for Interoperability within Unmanned Ground Systems and C2” and continue to cooperate with NAAG LCG/LE ToE UGV.

Objectives

The RTG will investigate standards to facilitate interoperability between UGVs and their C2 systems. This includes open standards / middle-ware solution such as Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) and Robotic Operating Systems (ROS), where the latter is the de facto standard in civilian robotics research. The investigation will also include military standards such as Battlefield Management Language (BML) and Interoperability Profiles (IOP), and relevant STANAGs. After the standards are identified, a subset of the standards will be selected. The previous RTG addressed tele-operation of UGVs, while we envision this RTG to look at a subset of standards for manned-unmanned teaming, sharing information between UGVs, vehicle leader and follower and/or way-point navigation. After the RTG agrees on a subset of standards and the use case, a joint experiment will be conducted to verify that systems can communicate through the implemented standards. Each participating nation will implement the agreed subset of standards on their UGV and C2 system, and the interoperability between the systems will be validated through the experiment. After the experiment a final report will be written. This will include an account of the work done in the group and the description of the experiment. Limitations and proposed changes or enhancements of the standards will also be reported.

Topics

• Interoperability for UGVs – This is the main activity for the RTG, and where we expect to advance. We expect that coalition UGVs can be controlled in a unified manner, so that other nations can control one nation’s UGV’s. We also expect to use a higher level mission definition, so that the UGVs don’t have to be tele-operations. • UGV technology – The RTG will exchange information and knowledge on UGV technology. • Radio communication for UGV – Radio communication is very important when controlling UGVs, and is a necessary component for controlling the UGVs. Therefore we expect that this topic will have to be discussed in detail and explored by the RTG. This could potentially also include security, data integrity and other cyber related issues. The scope is to use relevant and available radio systems, not to develop or otherwise improve the radio systems.

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