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Design of unmanned swarm tactics for an urban mission
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Paper Abstract

Military planners envision a future of unmanned vehicle swarms that can self-organize to provide superior intelligence and overwhelming effects over a widely dispersed battlefield greatly multiplying the effectiveness of the manned forces. Deploying swarms requires new tactics to take advantage of this capability. Working with military experts we developed a suite of swarm tactics for unmanned air and ground vehicles supporting a full Company with a mission to secure an objective in an urban area. The air vehicles create and maintain perimeter security around the objective. They map the area and maintain tracks on all vehicles and people in the perimeter. They also provide persistent, stealthy communication relay support to all the ground forces. The ground vehicles surveil the key intersections, provide scout and rear security to the squads and scout out alternative routes through the city. The unmanned vehicles execute decoy operations and their behaviors are designed to mask the actual task they are performing through seemingly random movement and regular swapping of tasks. These tactics were implemented in software and evaluated in a 3D model of an urban area taken from a city in the Midwest and implemented in Unity. This paper describes the tactics, algorithms, and experimental setup and reports the results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2019
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 11021, Unmanned Systems Technology XXI, 110210K (13 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2518116
Show Author Affiliations
John A. Sauter, Soar Technology, Inc. (United States)
Kellen Bixler, Soar Technology, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11021:
Unmanned Systems Technology XXI
Charles M. Shoemaker; Hoa G. Nguyen; Paul L. Muench, Editor(s)

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