RSTA for Small Rovers in Urban Warfare

Report No. ARL-TR-1678
Authors: Young, Stuart; Budulas, Pete; Emmerman, Philip; Scanlon, Mike; Srour, Nassy
Date/Pages: May 1999; 47 pages
Abstract: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is pursuing a major research initiative in robotics. This research centers on collaborative physical agents that have advanced sensing, analysis, and behavioral characteristics that are linked to a mother ship that uses advanced visualization and awareness tools. Applications that are prompting this effort are reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) of both human and vehicle targets as well as nuclear, biological, and chemical agent detection and localization. This report focuses on the requirements of a robot, or rover, to operate in urban terrain (such as military operations in urbanized terrain (MOUT) facility), to autonomously and stealthily approach enemy-controlled buildings, and to identify humans and any hazards to them. The requirements for this scenario could be performed by three increasingly complex systems, depending upon the extent of the operation. The three proposed systems are an individual agent, a team of collaborative agents, or a mother ship that works with a team of collaborative agents. This report focuses on a single physical agent solution. The agents must be able to negotiate all areas, such as curbs, stairs, and rubble, within an urban terrain. This report also discusses the application and component research thrusts of the RSTA module to detect humans and hazards to humans.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 1999