Army partners with University of Illinois on autonomous drone swarm technology

Army researchers are working with the University of Illinois Chicago on unmanned technology for recharging drone swarms.

The university has been awarded a four-year, $8 million cooperative agreement “to develop foundational science in two critical propulsion and power technology areas for powering future families of unmanned aircraft systems,” according to a statement released by the Army Research Laboratory.

“This collaborative program will help small battery-powered drones autonomously return from military missions to unmanned ground vehicles for recharging,” the Army added. “The university is developing algorithms to enable route planning for multiple teams of small unmanned air and ground vehicles.”

ARMY DEVELOPING DRONES THAT CAN CHANGE SHAPE MID-FLIGHT

The military is looking to make the process of recharging vast drone swarms as efficiently as possible by using fast, recharging batteries and wireless power transfer technologies. This, researchers say, will let multiple drones to hover over an unmanned ground vehicle and recharge

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The US Army wants to smoothen the ordeal of firing artillery

WASHINGTON — The Army is using internal development and small-business ideas to figure out how to fire artillery faster, exploring every facet from how projectiles are stored all the way to automated reloading.

Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is in charge of Long-Range Precision Fires modernization, told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference that he is “a little bit embarrassed” to describe to innovative small companies how the Army handles ammunition in an artillery battalion, realizing that the process hasn’t changed in over 50 years.

“When you evaluate the amount of time and man hours these soldiers doing these tasks, one-by-one unbanding projectiles and inspecting them one-by-one, inventorying them one-by-one,” Rafferty said. “What if we could automate some of those tasks? And then how much more effective that unit would be in its operational mission, if those soldiers were preparing for

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US Army prioritizes open architecture for future combat vehicle amid competition prep

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army still plans to release of its request for proposals in December to replace the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and it wants industry to prioritize an open architecture in its designs.

“The network is almost more important in some ways than building the combat vehicles,” Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, program executive officer of ground combat systems, told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s virtual conference.

The future optionally manned fighting vehicle will need the flexibility to be networked with other capabilities across the battlefield, and designed such that capabilities can plug into the vehicle at the forward edge. This realization was highlighted during the Army’s Project Convergence exercise at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, which wrapped up last month and during which an OMFV surrogate played a part.

The Army will focus on the effort to develop OMFV with an

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US Army firms up requirements for future long-Range assault aircraft ahead of competition

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program passed through the Army Requirements Oversight Council’s gauntlet and received preliminary approval of its abbreviated capabilities development document, bringing the aircraft a step closer to a competitive procurement, according to the head of the service’s future vertical lift efforts.

The service is on a tight timeline to field a brand-new, long-range assault aircraft by 2030.

“The AROC went well,” Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen told Defense News in an Oct. 6 interview. “The aviation enterprise continues to impress me, just our ability to drive on these tough administrative and requirements tasks and get them done on time and do what we said we were going to do.”

At the time of the interview, not all of the paperwork was signed and the ink wasn’t dry. However, Rugen said, “it was probably one of the best AROCs I have attended in my

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US Army uses satellites to affect the state of the battlefield

YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz. — To put it bluntly, the U.S. Army is not exactly known for its space savviness.

However, as the Army gears up for combat with near-peer competitors, it’s doing its best to leverage new space capabilities to improve its targeting and networks, greatly expanding the range it can fire at enemies effectively. And at Project Convergence 20, the service got its first high profile opportunity to show off what it can do with emergent tactical space capabilities.

Project Convergence is the first iteration of the Army’s new “campaign of learning,” an effort to bring together the most cutting edge technologies, connect them together with an advanced battlefield network, and extend their ability to hit beyond-line-of-sight targets with confidence. During six weeks in the blazing Arizona heat at Yuma Proving Ground, the Army ran through dozens of scenarios, linking weapons systems and sensors together, applying artificial intelligence

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US Army hones in on solution for new mid-range missile pursuit

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army’s new pursuit for a mid-range missile will be finalized by the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office by the end of the year, the office’s director told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.

The service has set a goal to field the chosen missile in less than three years — by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023 — which means it can’t start from scratch, said Lt. Gen. James Thurgood.

“You might be able to take something that’s in the [science & technology] world already and do something with it,” he said. ” You might be able to take an existing joint service program and do something with it. There are lots of opportunities. I don’t think that ’23 is an unrealistic outcome.”

The RCCTO received the mission in July following a strategic fires study conducted

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US Army trials augmented reality goggles for dogs

The goggles are both a camera and a display
The goggles are both a camera and a display

The US Army has shown off augmented reality goggles for combat dogs, designed to let them receive orders at a distance.

The technology, made by a firm called Command Sight, is managed by the US Army Research Laboratory.

Military dogs can scout ahead for explosives and other hazards, but need instructions.

The goggles are designed to let their handlers direct them, safely out of harm’s way.

In current combat deployments, soldiers usually direct their animals with hand signals or laser pointers – both of which require the handler to be close by.

But that need not be the case if the prototype AR goggles are widely adopted, the army said.

Inside the goggles, the dogs can see a visual indicator that they can be trained to follow, directing them to a specific spot.

The handler, meanwhile, can see what the dog

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The US Army wants to build an autonomous drone charging system

The US Army is looking to build an autonomous charging system that can support hundreds of drones. It has funded a four-year research project with the ultimate aim of kitting out ground-based vehicles with charging stations that swarms of drones can fly to by themselves. 



a close up of a bicycle: A quadcopter drone


A quadcopter drone

The University of Illinois Chicago landed an $8 million contract from the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. Researchers will work on a system that will enable small drones to determine the location of the closest charging station, travel there and juice up before returning to their mission. The university is working on algorithms to help the drones determine the best route to a charging port. 

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“Imagine in the future, the Army deploying a swarm of hundreds or thousands of unmanned aerial systems,” Dr. Mike Kweon, program manager for the Army Research Laboratory’s Versatile Tactical Power and Propulsion Essential

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Future dogs: Army developing augmented reality goggles that receive commands from soldiers – News

Future dogs: Army developing augmented reality goggles that receive commands from soldiers

Hed: Future dogs: Army developing augmented reality goggles that receive commands from soldiers

The Army is developing high-tech augmented reality goggles for dogs that eventually could allow handlers to give them directions from afar, the service said.

Military working dogs are directed via hand signals, speaking or laser pointers, which require the handler to remain close by. That can potentially endanger soldiers on missions that involve finding explosives and hazardous materials, or assisting in rescue operations, the Army statement said Tuesday.

The goggles developed by the Army and the Seattle-based company Command Sight show dogs where to go using a simulated laser pointer.

Initial feedback indicates “the system could fundamentally change how military canines are deployed in the future,” said A.J. Peper, the founder of Command Sight, as quoted in the Army’s statement.

Peper founded his company in

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Army shutting down Asymmetric Warfare Group, Rapid Equipping Force

  • The Army announced this month that it’s deactivating Asymmetric Warfare Group and Rapid Equipment Force.
  • The groups were set up 15 years ago to provide advisory support and to rapidly equip soldiers to counter new threats during the post-9/11 wars.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After nearly 15 years, the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) and Rapid Equipment Force (REF) are being deactivated.

The primary mission of AWG was to provide advisory support to the US Army. It would do that by rapidly transferring current threat-based operations and solutions to tactical and operational commanders in order to defeat emerging asymmetric threats and enhance multi-domain effectiveness.

AWG was headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland. It was the only unit within TRADOC with the capability and structure to globally engage warfighters and disseminate observations and information to the rear to enhance soldier survivability. AWG understood that it is vital for the Army

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