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Proceedings Paper

An interactive physics-based unmanned ground vehicle simulator leveraging open source gaming technology: progress in the development and application of the virtual autonomous navigation environment (VANE) desktop
Author(s): Mitchell M. Rohde; Justin Crawford; Matthew Toschlog; Karl D. Iagnemma; Guarav Kewlani; Christopher L. Cummins; Randolph A. Jones; David A. Horner
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Paper Abstract

It is widely recognized that simulation is pivotal to vehicle development, whether manned or unmanned. There are few dedicated choices, however, for those wishing to perform realistic, end-to-end simulations of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). The Virtual Autonomous Navigation Environment (VANE), under development by US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), provides such capabilities but utilizes a High Performance Computing (HPC) Computational Testbed (CTB) and is not intended for on-line, real-time performance. A product of the VANE HPC research is a real-time desktop simulation application under development by the authors that provides a portal into the HPC environment as well as interaction with wider-scope semi-automated force simulations (e.g. OneSAF). This VANE desktop application, dubbed the Autonomous Navigation Virtual Environment Laboratory (ANVEL), enables analysis and testing of autonomous vehicle dynamics and terrain/obstacle interaction in real-time with the capability to interact within the HPC constructive geo-environmental CTB for high fidelity sensor evaluations. ANVEL leverages rigorous physics-based vehicle and vehicle-terrain interaction models in conjunction with high-quality, multimedia visualization techniques to form an intuitive, accurate engineering tool. The system provides an adaptable and customizable simulation platform that allows developers a controlled, repeatable testbed for advanced simulations. ANVEL leverages several key technologies not common to traditional engineering simulators, including techniques from the commercial video-game industry. These enable ANVEL to run on inexpensive commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. In this paper, the authors describe key aspects of ANVEL and its development, as well as several initial applications of the system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2009
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7332, Unmanned Systems Technology XI, 73321C (30 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820069
Show Author Affiliations
Mitchell M. Rohde, Quantum Signal LLC (United States)
Justin Crawford, Quantum Signal LLC (United States)
Matthew Toschlog, Quantum Signal LLC (United States)
Karl D. Iagnemma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Guarav Kewlani, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Christopher L. Cummins, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
Randolph A. Jones, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
David A. Horner, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7332:
Unmanned Systems Technology XI
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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