Augusta Systems Technologies Support Unmanned Vehicle 'Swarming'

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Unmanned vehicles equipped with on-board sensor data processing capabilities developed by Augusta Systems Inc. successfully "swarmed" during recent field tests and demonstrations, operating autonomously...

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Unmanned vehicles equipped with on-board sensor data processing capabilities developed by Augusta Systems Inc. successfully "swarmed" during recent field tests and demonstrations, operating autonomously, with limited intervention by human operators.

"This is a significant advancement for unmanned systems. Thanks to our on-board sensor data processing technologies, the vehicles can function as fully robotic systems, capable of making their own decisions," said Patrick Esposito , president and chief operating officer of Augusta Systems.

"Now, with these technologies, unmanned systems can act as part of a distributed, intelligent network on the battlefield, processing, sharing and communicating critical data," he said. "As a key component of joint, network-centric operations, intelligent vehicles can perform the data processing and communications normally handled by personnel in the field or at a centralized location."

Augusta Systems, which provides technologies for distributed, intelligent networks featuring data from edge assets, participated in the Naval Air Systems Command sponsored tests and demonstrations, held at a National Aeronautics and Space Administration facility on Wallops Island, Va. For the tests and demonstrations, components of Augusta Systems(R) SensorBridge(TM) and SensorPort(TM) products were combined with other commercial products, including mesh networking technologies from Motorola and ITT Corporation, to form a payload computer installed on-board four unmanned ground vehicles and two Aerosonde Mk III unmanned aerial vehicles from AAI Corporation, a United Industrial Corporation subsidiary.

SensorBridge is a suite of software components for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 for building and managing intelligent networks, systems, and applications featuring data from edge assets within an integrated development environment. SensorPort is a reconfigurable network appliance for distributed, intelligent processing at the edge of the network.

Distributed, on-board collaborative control algorithms, which enable a single operator to coordinate and control multiple vehicles, were implemented on the payload computers to enable the swarming capabilities among the six air and ground vehicles. With on-board collaborative control, the vehicles operate as a group, functioning together as a "swarm." The swarm can process and communicate relevant information, allowing the individual vehicles and group to change direction, autonomously, in response to sensor inputs. The algorithms were developed by NewVectors LLC, a division of TechTeam Government Solutions, Inc., a TechTeam Global subsidiary.

Other technologies utilized in the demonstration included geospatial displays and user/operator interfaces developed using SensorBridge and geographic information system software.

"Our technologies, combined with on-board collaborative control algorithms and mesh networking technologies, have dramatically increased the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of these vehicles," Esposito said. "By utilizing components of our SensorBridge and SensorPort products with other customized features, we've essentially provided the vehicles with the brains to act with intelligence. The vehicles no longer act alone, as independent, remote controlled cameras, but as intelligent computing systems in a collaborative, networked environment."

About Augusta Systems

Augusta Systems, Inc. ( technologies power distributed, intelligent networks. The technologies extend enterprise networks by enabling rapid integration, intelligent processing, and enterprise utilization of data from sensors, actuators, and other edge systems and devices. Augusta Systems products enable the most efficient and effective convergence and use of data from edge systems and devices for numerous applications, including security, monitoring, automation, and asset tracking, among others.

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