Intelligent Agents for Augmented Squad Weapons
One of the dismounted Soldier's most fundamental tools is their weapon. The Soldier’s life and the lives that they protect rely heavily on the capabilities of that weapon as well as their ability to effectively deploy it. Under stress and fatigue, Soldier performance capacity can become increasingly challenged. Fire control is thus a particularly critical task that can reap significant benefit from effective and intelligent agent-Soldier teaming. DEVCOM ARL, along with partners within and outside of the CAST, is conducting basic and applied research to advance the state of the art in technologies that will support and increase lethality of next-generation Small Arms Fire Control (SAFC) systems. The goal of developing next-generation SAFC systems is to manifest the full capability of the Soldier-weapon system by optimizing marksmanship from target acquisition through engagement to assessment of performance. Future systems will integrate intelligent agents to increase detection and recognition of enemies, enable simultaneous tracking of multiple targets, calculate ballistics offsets and adjusted aim points, and ensure optimized trigger pull for maximized accuracy. To realize the vision for future SAFC systems, we must account for several unique challenges. Novel informational load management and effective interface concepts must be devised for the typically small monocular displays mounted on an inherently unstable platform. Adaptive algorithms, adjusted aim points, and other information for display can make significant space claims on this limited interface. Moreover, SAFC systems lack intuitive mechanisms for Soldier input and interaction. Soldier trust is imperative, yet use of these future technologies will likely differ from conventionally-known and trusted small arms systems. The goal of the Intelligent Squad Weapons Testbed is to integrate the full spectrum of human-systems research and prototyping to ensure that interface concepts for future SAFC systems will support efficient and effective operation of the total Soldier-weapon system.