FOI studies unmanned vehicles in order to be able to predict threats and possibilities, evaluate performance and provide hostile and friendly co-players in, for example, pilot training simulations.
Unmanned vehicles are becoming an increasingly common phenomenon in both civil and military contexts. Military unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, have long been used for reconnaissance purposes while unmanned ground vehicles, UGVs, are employed to search for and destroy unexploded mines and bombs. A factor common to all unmanned vehicles is that we want them to function in a way that is useful and, to ensure this, they require a more or less sophisticated planning and management system. Such planning and management systems are studied and developed at FOI.
In recent years unmanned vehicles have been studied in connection with a wide variety of activities. In a project financed under the EU’s sixth framework programme, FOI, in collaboration with partners including Thales Europe, has developed planning functions for UAVs intended for aerial surveillance of the Mediterranean area, watching for smugglers, vessels carrying illegal immigrant refugees, and any vessels in distress. On assignment from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, we have been working with Rotundus, the Royal Institute of Technology KTH and Saab on the development of a planning tool for a mobile robot ‘watchkeeper’ capable of patrolling, for example, factories or port installations. In order to support pilot training activities we have also developed software for decision functions for friendly and hostile co-players in a simulated air combat scenario.