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Introduction to

Unmanned Vehicle
Fall 2015
Dr. Brian Huff, IMSE Dept.

Why Offer This Course?

Offer at true Multi-Disciplinary Educational Experience

Introduce students to the exciting field of Unmanned

Vehicle Systems Development.

To have a good reason to learn about cool technology

from the perspective of multiple engineering disciplines.

To provide a foundation for both the Undergraduate and

Graduate Unmanned Vehicle Systems Certificates.

What Course Is This?


EE 4378
IE 4378
MAE 4378
AE 5378
CSE 5383
EE 6321


ME 5378

Introduction to Unmanned
Vehicle Systems

Who will be teaching the


Atilla Dogan, MAE

Dr. Brian Huff, IMSE
Dr. Manfred Huber, CSE
Dr. Kamesh Subbarao, MAE
Dr. Dan Popa, EE

Lecture Overview

Syllabus (Highlights)
UVS Certificate Programs
UVS History
Types of UVS
UVS Component Technologies

Syllabus Learning Objective

Provide students with a general overview of technologies

and engineering methods used to develop and deploy
Unmanned Vehicle Systems.
Provide a team-taught class experience.
Present materials that would typically fall outside the
students main area of study.
Challenge the student to explore the inherently multidisciplinary nature of todays complex engineered
This course is the first course of a common two course
sequence that forms the foundation of an Undergraduate
and Graduate UVS Certificate program.

Syllabus Course Content

Introduction to UVS (Unmanned Vehicle Systems):

UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)

UGS (Unmanned Ground System)

UMS (Unmanned Maritime System)

Their history, missions, and capabilities

UVS types, configurations and subsystems

The disciplines needed for UVS development and


By the end of the course, you

should be able to:

Describe the common types, missions and roles of

Unmanned Vehicle Systems

Identify and list the common subsystems and technologies

deployed in UVS

Use the Matlab/Simulink toolsets to model unmanned


Discuss the various types of sensors used within UVS and

describe suitable sensor fusion methods

Describe the common methods used by UVS to perform

Guidance, Navigation, & Control functions

Describe the approaches and technologies used to create

UVS man/machine interfaces

Syllabus Textbooks &

Course Materials

is no required Text for this course. Notes

and supplemental materials will be provided
by the course instructors.

Syllabus Major Assignments,

Tests, & Grading

Five Homework Assignments

Test 1 In class test
Take-Home Project
Test 2 In class test
Class Participation/Pop Quizzes 10%

The following scale will be used to assign class grades:


90% - 100%
80% - 89%
70% - 79%
60% - 69%
less than 60%

Syllabus Emergency Exit

Exiting NH 105

out of the front of the Auditorium


right as you enter the atrium


of you

out of the building is directly in front

UVS Certificate Programs

Offered at both the Undergraduate and
Graduate levels
Offered by the CSE, EE, IMSE, & MAE
Certificate program requires a total of 15 hours
of course work:
Six hours of core curriculum that is common
across all programs
Nine hours chosen from a portfolio of classes
identified in each program

UVS Certificate Programs



Introductory course provides students with a

background in UVS and prepares them for the
eventual teamwork necessary for the final
course project

Final course in program is a 3-hour projectbased course that involves the design and
construction of a functional UVS system or
component involving teamwork and
collaborative effort between students from
participating departments

Why have Autonomous/Unmanned

Systems become so popular?

Technological Reasons

The rapid increase in computing power

Significant miniaturization of enabling technologies

Significant cost reductions in enabling system


Sociological / Economic Drivers

The reduction in risk and cost associated with using

humans to perform Dull, Dirty, and Dangerous Jobs

A reduction in tolerance for the loss of life in Military


Potential to do productive work

Future Computing Power

Moores Law
2019 $1000 computer has
power of human brain
2029 $1000 computer has
power of 1000 human
2049 $1000 computer has
power of human race
Low Cost, High Power
Computing is not a
IEEE Spectrum, Richard D. Jones - Boeing Phantom Works

Future Communication
By 2020 We will have Ubiquitous High
Bandwidth Communication
Today - WiFi (vehicle to vehicle)
Soon - WiMax (30 km range)
above metropolitan areas
Edholms Law (IEEE)
Bandwidth growing Faster
then Moores Law (doubling
every 12 months)
Soon (2015?) Nomadic
(wireless) will Exceed

IEEE Spectrum, Richard D. Jones - Boeing Phantom Works

The Senate Armed Services Committees

Demand for Unmanned Systems

February 2000, Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Chairman of the Senate Armed
Services Committee, publicly stated his desire to see one-third of military
aircraft designed to strike deep within enemy territory would be unmanned
by 2010 and one-third of ground combat vehicles would be driverless by
In the Senate Armed Service Committees version of the 2007 Defense
budget they state:
The Secretary of Defense shall develop a policy applicable
throughout the Department of Defense on research,
development, test, and evaluation, procurement, and operation
of unmanned systems [which] shall include the preference for
joint unmanned systems in acquisition programs for new
systems, including a requirement under any such program for
the development of a manned system for a certification that an
unmanned system is incapable of meeting program

Demand from Commercial


UVS History

The Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588 The English sent eight burning ships into the
crowded harbor at Calais. The panicked Spanish ships were forced to cut their anchors
and sail out to sea to avoid catching fire. The disorganized fleet, completely out of
formation, was attacked by the English off Gravelines at dawn. In a decisive battle, the
superior English guns won the day.

UVS History

The development of unmanned vehicles for

military use predates the development of
industrial automation.

In 1849 unmanned balloons loaded with

explosives were used against the city of Venice
by Austrian forces.

During World War I aerial torpedoes were

developed using radio control techniques and
early gyroscopes.

UVS History


The Kettering Bug

was first flown in
Range: 75 miles
Speed: 120 mph
Payload: 180 lbs of
Production: 45 units

UVS History

Radioplane Company produced nearly

fifteen thousand target dones during WWII


Controlled B-17 and B-24 bombers

also saw limited combat use during World
War II

UVS History

developed radio and wire controlled

vehicles in World War II


vehicles were used for mine clearance,

explosive charge carriers, and anti-tank

UVS History

The German Goliath

tracked mine, also known
as the beetle tank by the

Size: 4x2x1
Payload: 165-220 lbs of
high explosives
Uses: destroying tanks,
demolition of buildings
and bridges, disrupting
dense infantry formations

Less Familiar Systems Hard at



Classes of UxVs

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV)
Unmanned (water) Surface Vehicles (USV)
Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV)
Unmanned Munitions (UM)
Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS)
Unmanned Orbital Vehicles (UOV)*
Unmanned Cyber Vehicles (UCV)*
Unmanned Interbody Vehicles (UIV)*

* Bowen, David G., MacKenzie, Scott C., Autonomous Collaborative Unmanned

Vehicles: Technical Drivers and Constraints, Defense R&D Canada,
Contract Report DRDC CR-2003-003, September 2003

UxV Capability Classes

Teleoperated Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicle


Autonomous Vehicle
(Hunter-Killer Teams)

Searcher UxV Characteristics

Teleoperated Vehicles

Human operator controls the vehicle at a distance

Operators information about the vehicles environment and state
depends critically on: sensors that acquire information, communications
links, and display technologies to allow the operator visualize the
environment and access the performance of the vehicle.
Human operator is responsible for the command and tasking functions of
the vehicle
Have no onboard terrain reasoning or military maneuvering capability


Mine detection/clearing, soldier-portable reconnaissance/surveillance,

UXO/IED, Search and Rescue
Whats over hill or around the corner?

Donkey UxV Characteristics

Semiautonomous Preceder/Follower Vehicles

Characterized by limits on the scope of autonomous mobility

Designed to follow markers (breadcrumbs) left by a leader
Would use some cognitive process to select best route from marker to
marker through a known environment previously traversed by the
Sensor suite is more complex than found on the Searcher
Preceder Donkey must: have sufficient autonomy to move in advance of
its controller, support complex terrain reasoning to select the best route


Carry supplies, support road-traversing convoy mode, support forward

reconnaissance, surveillance and target assessment (RSTA) 1 5 km in
advance of controller, support supply prepositioning, a Preceder could
lead less capable followers
Be the soldiers mule

Wingman UxV Characteristics

Platform-Centric Autonomous Vehicles

The UxV, once given orders for a complex mission, can accomplish them
without being told how.
Can transverse between two waypoints (a few kilometers to a hundred
kilometers apart) with no help along the way by a human operator (A-toB autonomy). Must include same environmental conditions (terrain,
weather, etc.) as would be operated in by manned vehicles.
Must be able to carry out its mission in a hostile environment with the
same survivability and self-defense as manned systems.
Capable of identifying friends, foes, and noncombatants (IFFN)
Must carry adequate self-defense systems suitable for its operational
environment and anticipated threats.
Capable of refueling itself from unmanned prepositioned fuel supplies or
rendezvous with a fuel supply vehicle (manned or unmanned).

Wingman UxV Characteristics


Platform-Centric Autonomous Vehicles

Have sufficient reliability and robustness to withstand the common

hazards and mishaps encountered in the course of typical operations.
Have the cognitive processing capabilities to support tactical maneuver
and self-protection/self-defense behavior.


Support the conventional work as a team model based on the roles of

Section Leader and Wingman. The Section Leader tells the
Wingman (or Wingmen) what to do, but not how to do it. A Section
Leader and a Wingman would then interact to faction as a team. This
model would require the autonomous Wingman UxV to have the
cognitive processes and mission knowledge required to perform tasks
without instruction or support from the Section Leader.
Cover my back little buddy

Hunter-Killer UxV Team


Teams of Network-Centric Autonomous Vehicles

Must be competent as independent nodes in a network-centric

hierarchical, non-deterministic, command and control environment.
The Network-Centric UxV can have many masters and must have the
ability to arbitrate conflicting requests for service.
Must support the coordination between ten to one hundred UxV team
members to accomplish a complex mission. Must have the ability to
request and verify go / no-go authorization from higher-level command
and control entities.
Tell us what to do and get out of the way

UVS Technology Areas

UVS Enabling Technologies

Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)

Covers issues of how intelligent agents work together in a system.

Extends beyond conventional human-computer interface (HCI) issues.

Attempts to address how humans will interact with multiple robots

(especially under stressful conditions).

Considers the dynamic allocation of tasks between humans and robots

based on situational context in an effort avoid information overload and
improve workload balance.

Support for Teaming has a large impact on HRI Requirements

Teamwork Architectures optimal organization of teams

Task Allocation the allocation of tasks between human and robot agents
based on the non-homogeneous capabilities of the team resources

UVS Enabling Technologies


The ability of the vehicle to move about in a given operational


Accessed in terms of the size and class of obstacle (both positive and
negative) a vehicle can negotiate and still continue along its specific path
and/or the modes of motion supported by the platform (e.g. vertical
takeoff for UAV)

Increased mobility reduces the perception burden and lowers the

potential need for human intervention.

Mobility Requirements must be driven by the application scenarios

associated with a given UVS.

UVS Enabling Technologies


The ability to communicate with an UVS will be required unless it will be

totally autonomous and accept no input from the outside world. (This is
not a realistic or desirable characteristic)

UVS communication systems have a complex set of interdependent

issues: Frequency, Bandwidth, Transmission Range, Interference, Power
Consumption, Broadcast Power Constraints, Protocols, Encryption,
Ontology, etc.

Not all communications modalities will work for all classes of UVS. UUV
communications technologies are very different from those used in an air

For some classes of UVS, particularly the Teleoperated platforms, the

loss of a communications link can result in a mission critical failure
resulting in the loss of the vehicle.

UVS Enabling Technologies


This is critical issue, particularly for small UVS platforms, systems and
applications that require long endurance, (a key advantage of using
unmanned technologies), or in domains where fuel weight and volume
have a significant impact on vehicle performance (e.g. UAV systems).

There are safety, cost, and compatibility issues.

Mission characteristics may directly impact power/energy related system

requirements (e.g. the need for stealth operation)

A very large selection of power and energy options exist, each with a
unique set of tradeoffs.

UVS Enabling Technologies

Health Maintenance

This is another critical issue in unmanned systems because there is no

highly intelligent, omni-sensing, agent onboard to smell the smoke, hear
the rattles, feel the vibrations, sense the heat, and realize that it might be
a good idea to land the plane.

There are many types or sources of potential failure in systems as

complex and technologically diverse as autonomous vehicles.

Every potential failure mode, symptom, cause, and remedy must be

identified for the UxV system.

For each failure mode, a set of corresponding failure symptoms must be


For each failure symptom and sensing technology must be identified that
can reliability detect these symptoms.

UVS Enabling Technologies

Health Maintenance (continued)

Each sensor technology must be designed into the mechanical, electrical

and controls subsystems of the vehicle.

For each Failure Mode that is identified, a failure mediation process must
be defined.

The physical and logical infrastructure for performing these failure

mediation processes must also be included in the system design.

Decision criteria must be developed to determine what levels of sensor

input constitute the detection of a failure.

The computational burden associated with constantly checking the

sensor inputs and testing them against the failure detection thresholds
can potentially detract from the computing resources needed to perform
the UxVs primary mission.

UVS Enabling Technologies

Autonomous Behavior Technologies

Autonomous Behavior is a key technology enabler because it provides the

automated perception and reasoning capabilities need to makeup for the loss of the
highly intelligent, omni-sensing, agent (i.e. the human) that has now been excluded
from the system design.
Autonomous behavior is enabled by the integration of a set of related technologies:
Planning, Perception, Behavior & Skills, Navigation, and Learning/Adaptation.
These technologies are highly interdependent as is indicated in the following
Autonomous Behavior Subsystem block diagram.

Autonomous Behavior Subsystems

Autonomous Behavior Subsystems

Perception Subsystem

Takes data from sensors and develops a representation of the world

around the UVS.

This representation of the UVS operational environment is referred to as

the World Map.

The perception subsystem controls the sensor performance input

parameters to optimize perception performance and can receive
requests from the planner or behavior and skills subsystem to focus on a
particular subset or region of inputs.

Autonomous Behavior Subsystems

Navigation Subsystem

Keeps track of the UVS current position and pose (roll, pitch, yaw) in an
absolute coordinate system.

It provides a means to convert vehicle-centered sensor readings into an

absolute frame of reference.

Will generally use a variety of independent means (GPS, IMU,

Odometry) to determine location estimates.

These sensor inputs are frequently inconsistent and each have their own
potential error causes and characteristics.

Sensor fusion methods and filtering techniques can then be used to

improve the accuracy of our position/pose estimates.

Autonomous Behavior Subsystems

Planning Subsystem

Decomposes the high-level general task commands (e.g. move to

location B) into a series of subtasks or functions like: determine current
location (A), calculate distance and heading for a course from A to B,
activate obstacle detection processes, turn onto heading from A to B,
begin vehicle movement from A to B, monitor progress along vector
between A and B, if vehicle encounters an obstacle or veers off course
move around obstacle or turn back towards B, determine current
location (C), and the process repeats.

More sophisticated planners might use predefined world map information

to pre-plan a course from A to B.

Lower level controllers can be used to monitor system performance and

effect the behavior of the system using performance data as feedback.

Autonomous Behavior Subsystems

Behavior and Skills Subsystem

A behavior is a combination of sensing and effecting into a atomic action.

It can be innate, learned, or strictly a stimulus response.

A skill is a collection of behaviors needed to follow a plan or execute a

complex task.

This Subsystem can combine inputs from Perception, Navigation, and

Planning and translates them into motor commands for the UVS to move
and accomplish work.

Autonomous Behavior Subsystems

Learning/Adaptation Subsystem

This function is frequently distributed within the various components of

the autonomous behavior subsystem components.

The objective of these learning / adaptation functions is to improve

system performance by analyzing historical system performance
statistics and adjusting Autonomous Behavior Subsystem control factors.

It provides a mechanism for the system to become more robust over