Centralized Controller for Multiple UAV/UGV Operation


Lockheed Martin recently tested the capability of a single operator to simultaneously control four different unmanned systems through a new centralized controller. The prototype controller enabled users to control multiple systems via a hand controller and a touch screen, while the system automatically translates the commands and guides the execution of autonomous functions as required by each system.

The test involved several unmanned systems simulated operations in an urban environment. The systems included Honeywell’s Micro Air Vehicle
Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV); the Silver Fox UAV (produced by Lockheed Martin), the Roll Based Operations Architecture (RBOA) robot and an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) demonstrator developed by Lockheed Martin. Controlling of the PackBot (from iRobot) by the centralized controller is currently underway.

Several different radio links were demonstrated in conjunction with the centralized controller, including UHF, L-band and wireless broadband. The demonstration also utilized the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems message protocol to communicate with the Lockheed Martin UGV.

Another aspect demonstrated during the test was automated route planning, provided by the Combat Maneuver Mission Route Planner (CMMRP) software. This application is part of the Human Robotic Interface, utilized for UGV control. This capability enabled the centralized controller to execute both pre-planned autonomous operation and manual tele-operation of the unmanned platforms.