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BAE Systems Australia and TAS DCRC complete UGV research program

BAE Systems Australia and the Brisbane-based Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence CRC (TAS DCRC) have completed a four-year research and demonstration program during which they developed an advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that could be used in Uncrewed Ground Vehicles (UGV). In doing so, they have moved a step closer to delivering a next generation autonomous capability for the Australian Army.

The TAGVIEW (Trusted Autonomous Ground Vehicles in Electronic Warfare) system would allow multiple UGVs to operate simultaneously to carry out mission objectives while identifying and evading potential threats.

“The army requires autonomous capabilities like this to protect our soldiers from harm, removing them from the most dangerous tasks, while still maintaining a human in the loop directing the system,” according to Lieutenant Colonel Rachael Ayoub of the Australian Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO).

“The successful demonstration on the M113s shows that through enhancing or augmenting our existing capabilities, we can create trusted autonomy and extend functionality.”

“We continue to push the boundaries of science and technology to provide Australia and our allies with a capability advantage on a future battlefield,” said BAE Systems Australia’s Defence Delivery Managing Director, Andrew Gresham.

“TAGVIEW has been a unique collaboration, bringing together the strengths of Defence, industry and academia to fast track the development of a transformative autonomous technology.”

Modular in design, and integrated with BAE Systems’ autonomous Vehicle Management System, TAGVIEW will be compatible with a range of different UGVs. It can feature a range of technologies, including optic cameras, LiDaR (Light Detection and Ranging) and internal navigation and route planning systems, making it easier for the user to control.

“TAS was instrumental in developing the project, reviewing its technical progress and achievements, and working with BAE Systems on the design of trials and demonstrations,” said the TAS DCRC’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Simon Ng. “It’s been exciting to see what a diverse team from industry, researchers and DSTG can do and highlights the value of a collaborative approach in achieving innovation for Defence.”

During the demonstration phase, TAGVIEW was installed on several M113 Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicles (OCCVs) and put through its paces in a series of planned relocation, logistical and sweep search missions. Funded by the Commonwealth of Australia and led by the TAS DCRC, the TAGVIEW program also involved the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML) and the Commonwealth’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).

The company has become a global leader in the development of robotic and autonomous systems and has built autonomous Vehicle Management Systems (VMS) for the MG-28A Ghost Bat as well as a range of UAVs built by its UK-based parent.

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