Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST)


Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) Logo

To enhance tactical situational awareness in urban and complex terrain by enabling the autonomous operation of a collaborative ensemble of multifunctional, mobile microsystems through collaborative and multidisciplinary research.

Overview Briefing


Contact Information

Collaborative Alliance Manager
Dr. Brett Piekarski
(301) 394-1263

Consortium Business Manager
Ms. Susan Wright

Research Area Technical Objectives

The MAST consortium has worked collaboratively to develop a management structure that embraces this paradigm shift through an integrated research plan that incorporates ARL researchers with the consortium and cross-cutting themes to join the four research centers together as one.

  • Mobility, Control and Energetics (MCE) - MCE develops a fundamental understanding of mechanics for small unmanned air and ground vehicles as needed to obtain desired mobility objectives. The aeromechanics discipline focuses on key elements of microsystem flight; the ambulation discipline focuses on key elements of microsystem ground movement.
    Technical Lead: Dr. Inder Chopra, UMD & Dr. Christopher Kroninger, ARL
  • Sensing, Perception and Processing (SPP) - SPP provides the fundamental underpinning for autonomous operation of distrusted, mobile, multi-modal sensing micro-systems. Areas of investigation include control for mobility and situational awareness, distributed sensing and estimation, algorithmic aspects of communication, and architectures for cooperative reconnaissance by a heterogeneous set of micro air and ground vehicles.
    Technical Lead: Dr. Kamal Sarabandi, UMich & Dr. William Nothwang, ARL
  • Communication, Networking and Coordination (CNC) - CNC is concerned with the use of communication for carrying out mission objectives, optimizing the network connectivity amongst the heterogeneous ensemble of robots using the ratio, and coordinating the functions of each robot in the ensemble to enable the functioning of the team and optimize the mission objectives.
    Technical Lead: Dr. Vijay Kumar, UPenn & Dr. Brian Sadler
  • Joint Exercises (JX) - The three core research thrusts (MCE, SPP,CNC) address capability gaps at the level of component technologies. The JX thrust serves as a focal point to integrate and evaluate technical capabilities on platforms performing elements of mission-like scenarios, through a set of research tasks that involve collaboration between multiple Centers and between the Consortium and ARL.
    Technical Lead: Dr. Larry Matthies, JPL & Mr. David Baran, ARL

Consortium Members

  • BAE (Industrial Lead)
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Integration Principal Member)
  • University of Maryland (Microsystem Mechanics Principal Member)
  • University of Michigan (Microelectronics Principal Member)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Processing for Autonomous Operation Principal Member)
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Drexel University
  • University of New Mexico
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California, Merced
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • Kansas State University
  • University of Colorado, Bolder
  • Bowie State University
  • Politecnico di Milano
  • University of California, San Diego

Last Update / Reviewed: September 2, 2014