Published: Sep 21, 2006 4:11:20 PM
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Auburn University's GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (GAVLAB) has been awarded a subcontract from the Future Combat Systems Lead System Integrator (FCS LSI) in preparation of a FCS demonstration in 2007. This research is being performed as an Affiliate Member Project in the AU Center for Advanced Vehicle Electronics (CAVE). The demonstration will feature autonomous vehicle convoys (known as leader-follower or robotic convoy experiment) using GPS, INS, and other Autonomous Navigation Sensors (ANS). The principal investigator for the project is David M. Bevly who directs the GAVLAB. The two-year, $350,000 project, will help support Bevly and a team of graduate students as they develop various hardware and algorithms for the FCS demonstration. The first demonstration is scheduled for the final quarter of 2007 using a Stryker and four FMTVs (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles), some of which may be LMTVs (Light Medium Tactical Vehicles). A second experiment may take place in early 2008.
Auburn is tasked with developing algorithms to simulate a precision relative GPS system in order to accurately determine the relative position of each vehicle in the convoy. The relative positioning system will utilize a Dynamic Real Time Kinematic (DRTK) positioning algorithm, which will treat one or more vehicles in the convoy as a mobile base station. Carrier-phase differential corrections are then broadcast to the remaining vehicles to provide a very precise position solution relative to the base vehicle. Auburn will also study the accuracy of allowing vehicles to follow the path of a lead vehicle using various GPS techniques. Auburn will also develop mathematical models that will accurately predict the motion of the vehicles used in the convoy. The vehicle models will include yaw and handling dynamics and traction characteristics, as well as suspension kinematics and dynamics. These vehicle models will be used to develop control algorithms and for simulation tools being developed by the FCS LSI and General Dynamics Robotics Systems (GDRS). Finally, on-line estimation algorithms will be developed to identify critical and/or changing parameters on the vehicles. This will facilitate real-time updating of the vehicle models for mission-planning and control algorithms. The GAVLAB will work closely with the FCS LSI Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) Integrated Projects Team (IPT) and GDRS to develop critical components for successful demonstration of the robotic convoys in 2007.