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About this book

This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-workshop proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Modelling and Simulation for Autonomous Systems, MESAS 2016, held in Rome, Italy, in June 2016.

The 33 revised full papers included in the volume ware carefully reviewed and selected from 38 submissions. They are organized in the following topical sections: human machine integration and interfaces; autonomous systems and MS frameworks and architectures; autonomous systems principles and algorithms; unmanned aerial vehicles and remotely piloted aircraft systems; modelling and simulation application.

Table of Contents


Human Machine Integration, Interaction and Interfaces


Challenges in Representing Human-Robot Teams in Combat Simulations

Unmanned systems are changing the nature of future warfare. Combat simulations attempt to represent essential elements of warfare to support training, analysis, and testing. While combat simulations have rapidly incorporated representations of unmanned systems into their capabilities, little has been done to distinguish unmanned systems from human systems in these simulations. This is making it difficult to impossible to consider questions of future manned/unmanned system mix, levels of unmanned system autonomy required for most effective operational success, and other relevant questions. One might think that replacing humans with fully autonomous unmanned systems, such as in unmanned convoys, results in identical mission performance with the added benefit of a decrease in loss of human life. However, this is a naïve line of reasoning when one considers that unmanned systems cannot react to the battlespace environment with the same level of flexibility as humans. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to capture such distinctions in combat models. This paper discusses the challenges we face in developing improved models of human systems, robotic systems, and human-robot teams in combat simulations, with examples posed in the context of the Combined Arms Analysis Tool for the 21st Century (COMBATXXI), a discrete-event simulation developed and employed by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to address analytical questions about future warfighting capabilities.

Curtis Blais

Data, Speed, and Know-How: Ethical and Philosophical Issues in Human-Autonomous Systems Cooperation in Military Contexts

Human-Autonomous Systems Cooperation raises several ethical and philosophical issues that need to be addressed not only at the stage of implementation of the system but also preferably at the stage of development. This paper identifies and discusses some of these issues, with a specific focus on human-machine cooperation problems and chances, focusing usage of these systems in military contexts. It is argued that ethical, philosophical, and technical problems include (1) data security and monitoring/management, (2) agency, distancing and speed/time, and (3) cooperation, networks and knowledge. These issues need to be taken into account not only in the application but also in processes of research and development and legal regulation.

Mark Coeckelbergh, Michael Funk

Human-Machine Interface for Multi-agent Systems Management Using the Descriptor Function Framework

Human-machine interfaces for command and control of teams of autonomous agents is an enabling technology for the development of reliable multi-agent systems. Tools for proper modelling of these systems are sought in order to ease the creation of efficient interface that allow a single operator to control several agents, as well as monitor the execution state of the tasks the team is demanded to accomplish. If humans are present in the environment, the agents must sense their presence and collaborate with them toward the mission accomplishment. In this context, the descriptor function framework is a versatile tool that allows the human integration at two levels: the development of human-machine interfaces and the achievement of human-machine teaming. In this paper, we show how such results can be obtained and we propose a possible architecture for the framework implementation.

Giovanni Franzini, Stefano Aringhieri, Tommaso Fabbri, Matteo Razzanelli, Lorenzo Pollini, Mario Innocenti

Autonomous Systems Operationalization Gaps Overcome by Modelling and Simulation

Systems with some level of Autonomy Capabilities or Semi-Autonomous Systems (SAS) are already an integral part of our life. Fully Autonomous Systems (AS) without any human in the loop are more commonly seen in the civilian sphere. However the military still needs to make a gigantic step toward to implementation of AS in the battlefield. Modeling and Simulation (M&S) and its techniques might help to understand us more quickly in the save environment the potential consequences of ASs deployment from the military perspective. The paper describes a selected set of gaps in the AS operationalization and potential solutions provided by the MS tools and techniques are discussed. The idea of the Augmented Autonomous System Reality is introduced and the way of synthetic environment description needed for the AS operationalization is described. In the end the importance of the Verification Validation and Accreditation process in the AS domain is discussed.

Jan Hodicky

To Explore or to Exploit? Learning Humans’ Behaviour to Maximize Interactions with Them

Assume a robot operating in a public space (e.g., a library, a museum) and serving visitors as a companion, a guide or an information stand. To do that, the robot has to interact with humans, which presumes that it actively searches for humans in order to interact with them. This paper addresses the problem how to plan robot’s actions in order to maximize the number of such interactions in the case human behavior is not known in advance. We formulate this problem as the exploration/exploitation problem and design several strategies for the robot. The main contribution of the paper than lies in evaluation and comparison of the designed strategies on two datasets. The evaluation shows interesting properties of the strategies, which are discussed.

Miroslav Kulich, Tomáš Krajník, Libor Přeučil, Tom Duckett

A Visual-Haptic Display for Human and Autonomous Systems Integration

This paper introduces a novel concept of visual-haptic display for situational awareness improvement for crowded and low altitude airspace situations. The visual augmentation display that constitutes of Virtual Fences delimiting no-fly zones, and a specific tri-dimensional highlight graphics that enhances visibility of other remotely piloted or autonomous agents, as well as conventional manned aircraft operating in the area is presented first. Then the Shared Control paradigm and the Haptic Force generation mechanism, based on a Proportional-Derivative-like controller applied to repulsive forces generated by the Virtual Fences and other UAVs are introduced and discussed. Simulations with 26 pilots were performed in a photo-realistic synthetic environment showing that the combined use of Visual-haptic feedback outperforms the Visual Display only in helping the pilot keeping a safe distance from no-fly zones and other vehicles.

Matteo Razzanelli, Stefano Aringhieri, Giovanni Franzini, Giulio Avanzini, Fabrizio Giulietti, Mario Innocenti, Lorenzo Pollini

Modelling Visual Communication with UAS

This work presents a communication concept for vision based interaction with airborne UAS. Unlike previous approaches, this research focuses on high level mission tasking of UAS without having to rely on radio data link. The paper provides the overall concept design and focuses on communication via gestures. A respective model describing the gestural syntax for high level commands as well as a feedback mechanism to enable bidirectional human-machine communication for different operational modes is presented in detail. First real world experiments evaluate the feasibility of the deployed sensors for the intended purpose.

Alexander Schelle, Peter Stütz

Autonomous Systems and MS Frameworks and Architectures


Using AUTOSAR High-Level Specifications for the Synthesis of Security Components in Automotive Systems

The increasing complexity and autonomy of modern automotive systems, together with the safety-sensitive nature of many vehicle information flows require a careful analysis of the security requirements and adequate mechanisms for ensuring integrity and confidentiality of data. This is especially true for (semi-)autonomous vehicle systems, in which user intervention is limited or absent, and information must be trusted. This paper provides a proposal for the representation of high-level security properties in the specification of application components according to the AUTOSAR standard (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture). An automatic generation of security components from security-annotated AUTOSAR specifications is also proposed. It provides for the automatic selection of the adequate security mechanisms based on a high-level specification, thus avoiding complex and error-prone manual encodings by the designer. These concepts and tools are applied to a paradigmatic example in order to show their simplicity and efficacy.

Cinzia Bernardeschi, Gabriele Del Vigna, Marco Di Natale, Gianluca Dini, Dario Varano

Modelling & Simulation Architecture Supporting NATO Counter Unmanned Autonomous System Concept Development

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is dealing with possible future threats, which can be envisioned for the operational scenarios in the next twenty years. Allied Command for Transformation (ACT) is in charge to conduct Concept Development & Experimentation (CD&E) cycle for NATO, and a project named Counter Unmanned Autonomous Systems – (C)UAxS was initiated with the aim to deliver to the NATO Military Authorities a concept that provides taxonomy matrix, threats analysis and future capability implementation recommendations for countermeasures against UAxS in all operational domains, such as air, land, sea and cyberspace.The NATO Modelling & Simulation Centre of Excellence (M&S CoE) received a Request For Support from ACT to collaborate with the CUAxS concept development process. The M&S CoE has previously started an initiatives regarding UAxS systems called Simulated Interactive Robotics Initiative (SIRI). In addition collaborating with several Science and Technology Organization panels working groups, focusing its efforts on interoperability between simulation environment and Command and Control (C2) systems, languages and data model (i.e., National Information Exchange Model). In this framework, the M&S CoE developed an M&S architectural model, exploiting also the Modelling & Simulation as a Service (MSaaS) paradigm, suitable to provide an initial idea of possible tools could be adopted and customized to support the CUAxS project, as in the Concept Development Assessment Game (CDAG) execution, through the verification and validation of Multi-domains UAxS and their countermeasures.

Marco Biagini, Fabio Corona

HLA Interoperability for ROS-Based Autonomous Systems

The requirements for autonomous systems (of systems) have started to include the cooperation between heterogeneous assets in order to accomplish complex missions. Therefore, interoperability – both at the conceptual and technical level – between different types of systems and domains is essential. In the M&S community HLA is the reference standard to design, develop and test interoperable systems of systems. In this article, a HLA-based link between simulation and an autonomous system using the ROS middleware is presented. The integration of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), more specifically the SPARUS II, in a HLA federation using the proposed link has been tested for a harbour protection mission. For this scenario, the hardware and software of the AUV has been included in a federation together with a virtual simulator. The link allows easy inclusion of ROS-based assets in HLA federations, thereby enriching both the M&S and robotic communities which will benefit from this approach which allows the development of more complex and realistic simulated scenarios with hardware- and software-in-the-loop.

Arnau Carrera, Alberto Tremori, Pilar Caamaño, Robert Been, Diego Crespo Pereira, Agostino G. Bruzzone

APRICOT: Aerospace PRototypIng COntrol Toolbox. A Modeling and Simulation Environment for Aircraft Control Design

A novel MATLAB/Simulink based modeling and simulation environment for the design and rapid prototyping of state-of-the-art aircraft control systems is proposed. The toolbox, named APRICOT, is able to simulate the longitudinal and laterodirectional dynamics of an aircraft separately, as well as the complete 6 degrees of freedom dynamics. All details of the dynamics can be easily customized in the toolbox, some examples are shown in the paper. Moreover, different aircraft models can be easily integrated. The main goal of APRICOT is to provide a simulation environment to test and validate different control laws with different aircraft models. Hence, the proposed toolbox has applicability both for educational purposes and control rapid prototyping. With respect to similar software packages, APRICOT is customizable in all its aspects, and has been released as open source software. An interface with Flightgear Simulator allows for online visualization of the flight. Examples of control design with simulation experiments are reported and commented.

Andrea Ferrarelli, Danilo Caporale, Alessandro Settimi, Lucia Pallottino

Human Driven Robot Grasping: An Interactive Framework

One main problem in the field of robotic grasping is to teach a robot how to grasp a particular object; in fact, this depends not only on the object geometry, but also on the end-effector properties. Different methods to generate grasp trajectories (way-points made by end-effector positions and its joint values) have been investigated such as kinaesthetic teaching, grasp recording using motion capture systems, and others. Although these method could potentially lead to a good trajectory, usually they are only able to give a good initial guess for a successful grasp: in fact, obtained trajectories seldom transfer well to the robot without further processing. In this work, we propose a ROS/Gazebo based interactive framework to create and modify grasping trajectories for different robotic end-effectors. This tool allows to shape the various way-points of a considered trajectory, and test it in a simulated environment, leading to a trial-and-error procedure and eventually to the real hardware application.

Hamal Marino, Alessandro Settimi, Marco Gabiccini

The Unmanned Autonomous Systems Cyberspace Arena (UCA). A M&S Architecture and Relevant Tools for Security Issues Analysis of Autonomous System Networks

In the framework of the modern tactical scenarios and the increasing employment of Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAxS) in multi-battlespace domains (land, naval, air and cyberspace), the threats to the communications and networks available among the units on the battlefield are becoming ever more challenging. It thus becomes crucial to protect communications and networking of these systems from possible hostile actions aimed at jeopardizing mission execution in the Cyberspace. This paper is focused on the required properties and capabilities of a UAxS Cyberspace Arena (UCA), a simulation-based communication and networking environment where it will be possible to evaluate UAxS tactical communication solutions as well as the related countermeasures in case of cyber-attacks and in terms of their resilience and reactivity to the considered security threats. The UCA is developed as an emerging concept to support UAxS Concept Development and Experimentation phases and its overarching architecture and related M&S tools are described, focusing on a Networks and Communications Simulator (Cyber Arena), within a Modelling and Simulation as a Services approach. In conclusion, the UCA architecture aims to demonstrate how it will be possible, in such an environment, to evaluate UAxS Security issues and challenges related to tactical communication and networking solutions in case of cyber-attacks, both in term of their resilience and reactivity to the considered security threats.

Marco Biagini, Sonia Forconi, Fabio Corona, Agatino Mursia, Lucio Ganga, Ferdinando Battiati

NoStop: An Open Source Framework for Design and Test of Coordination Protocol for Asymmetric Threats Protection in Marine Environment

NoStop is an open source simulator dedicated to distributed and cooperative mobile robotics systems. It has been designed as a framework to design and test multi–agent collaborative algorithms in terms of performance and robustness. The particular application scenario of a team of autonomous guards that coordinate to protect an area from asymmetric threat is considered. NoStop system is an integrated tool able to both evaluate the coordination protocol performance and to design the team of guards involved in the asymmetric threat protection. Moreover, NoStop is designed to validate robustness of coordination protocol through the use of a remote pilot that control the intruder motion to escape from the guards that monitor the area and accomplish its mission. The project core is a simulation server with a dynamic engine and a synchronization facility. Different coordination protocol can be designed and easily integrated in NoStop. The framework is fully integrated with the Robot Operating System (ROS) and it is completed by a control station where the remote pilot moves the intruder following the guards evolution in a 3D viewer.

Simone Nardi, Lucia Pallottino

Autonomous Systems Principles and Algorithms


Advancement in Multi-body Physics Modeling for 3D Graphical Robot Simulators

In this paper we present an interface to develop a communication between two different simulators: Gazebo, aiming at scene realism, and OpenModelica, focused on accurate dynamic simulation. This communication allows us to create a cooperative simulation loop, having a single shared simulated environment, and exploiting the best characteristics of each simulation.

Gianluca Bardaro, Luca Bascetta, Francesco Casella, Matteo Matteucci

Robust Place Recognition with Combined Image Descriptors

In this paper, a method of place recognition is presented. The method is generally classified under the bag-of-visual-words approach. Information from several global image descriptors is incorporated. The data fusion is performed at the feature level.The efficacy of the combined descriptor is investigated on the dataset recorded from a real robot. To measure the composition effect, all component descriptors are compared along with their combinations. Information on computational complexity of the method is also detailed, although the algorithms used did not undergo a big amount of optimization. The combined descriptor exhibits greater discriminative power, at the cost of increased computational time.

Martin Dörfler, Libor Přeučil

Assessing the Potential of Autonomous Multi-agent Surveillance in Asset Protection from Underwater Threats

A Serious Game (SG) system for the assessment of the potential of the multi-vehicle surveillance is presented. The SG system is applied to the problem of protection of strategic assets from underwater asymmetric threats. The SG platform integrates the active sonar performance evaluator able to estimate the real performance on the basis of the environmental conditions. The final goal is to provide new technology tools to realize a Decision Support System (DDS) to support the design phase of a naval unit. The SG system is developed in the framework of the ProDifCon project supported by the (DLTM) (Italy).

Tommaso Fabbri, Simone Nardi, Luca Isgró, Lucia Pallottino, Andrea Caiti

Rendering of 3D Maps with Additional Information for Operator of a Coal Mine Mobile Robot

The paper focuses on visualization of point clouds made by a 3D scanner mounted on a mobile robot Telerescuer designed for reconnaissance of coal mines affected by a disaster. Briefly are described some algorithms used for point cloud pre-processing – voxelization for data reduction, outliers removing for filtering of erroneous data and smoothing for additional filtering of noise data. These algorithms are implemented in C++ using the Point Cloud Library.The next parts focus on the rendering engine created for this application, with more detailed information about drawing individual points with specific size and using the point colours to support better representation of shapes in the map by shading/lighting and additional colouring based on orientation of normal vectors. Mentioned are also some crucial optimizations of rendering and processing performance build on a simple custom system similar to Octree.The final part presents some methods of adding additional information to the map, including sensor readings (temperature, gas concentration, wind speed etc.) and distance measurements (exact numeric measuring, rough dimension estimation by colour coding, corridor cross-section etc.). Integration of these data and the advanced rendering techniques not typically used for point cloud visualization are the innovative approaches described in this paper.

Tomáš Kot, Petr Novák, Jan Babjak, Petr Olivka

Geographical Data and Algorithms Usable for Decision-Making Process

The traffic-ability of military vehicles in the terrain outside of communication is not trivial matter. The article deals with the application of different types of geographic data sources within the decision-making process. The Commanders of the military or rescue units are participated in this decision-making process especially in the field. The key role is offered for the use of geographic information systems and application of geographical-tactical analyses, the methods of mathematical modelling, simulation and optimization for the purpose of scheduling the appropriate routes of movements of military vehicles in the operating environment. The special algorithms for searching of optimal path have to satisfy the criteria that are set of for solution of tactical tasks in autonomous systems. It is possible the time and speed limits and safety of peoples to determine. The geographical conditions, tactical conditions and types of vehicles are the most important factors for estimation of time of movement in the different types of terrain. Lots of experiments in military area in the Czech Republic have been performed and unmanned ground vehicle TAROS for gathering of the data was used and method of laser-scanning was tested. The measurement has been evaluated by mathematical statistics and computer sciences. Solution of these tests it is possible to use also in crisis management for emergency systems in case of natural disasters such as floods, fires etc.

Dana Kristalova, Martin Vogel, Jan Mazal, Petra Dohnalova, Tomas Parik, Adam Macurak, Katerina Fialova

Fusion of Monocular Visual-Inertial Measurements for Three Dimensional Pose Estimation

This work describes a novel fusion schema to estimate the pose of a UAV using inertial sensors and a monocular camera. The visual motion algorithm is based on the plane induced homography using so called spectral features. The algorithm is able to operate with images presenting small amount of corner-like features, which gives more robustness to the state estimation. The key contribution of the paper is the use of this visual algorithm in a fusion schema with inertial sensors, exploiting the complementary properties of these two sensors. Results are presented in simulation with six degrees of freedom motion that satisfies dynamic constraints of a quadcopter. Virtual views are generated from this simulated motion cropped from a real floor image. Simulation results show that the presented algorithm would have enough precision to be used in an on-board algorithm to control the UAV in hovering operations.

Gonzalo Perez-Paina, Claudio Paz, Miroslav Kulich, Martin Saska, Gastón Araguás

Multi-agent Poli-RRT*

Optimal Constrained RRT-based Planning for Multiple Vehicles with Feedback Linearisable Dynamics

Planning a trajectory that is optimal according to some performance criterion, collision-free, and feasible with respect to dynamic and actuation constraints is a key functionality of an autonomous vehicle. Poli-RRT* is a sample-based planning algorithm that serves this purpose for a single vehicle with feedback linearisable dynamics. This paper extends Poli-RRT* to a multi-agent cooperative setting where multiple vehicles share the same environment and need to avoid each other besides some static obstacles.

Matteo Ragaglia, Maria Prandini, Luca Bascetta

STAM: A Framework for Spatio-Temporal Affordance Maps

Affordances have been introduced in literature as action opportunities that objects offer, and used in robotics to semantically represent their interconnection. However, when considering an environment instead of an object, the problem becomes more complex due to the dynamism of its state. To tackle this issue, we introduce the concept of Spatio-Temporal Affordances (STA) and Spatio-Temporal Affordance Map (STAM). Using this formalism, we encode action semantics related to the environment to improve task execution capabilities of an autonomous robot. We experimentally validate our approach to support the execution of robot tasks by showing that affordances encode accurate semantics of the environment.

Francesco Riccio, Roberto Capobianco, Marc Hanheide, Daniele Nardi

Human-Like Path Planning in the Presence of Landmarks

This work proposes a path planning algorithm for scenarios where the agent has to move strictly inside the space defined by signal emitting bases. Considering a base can emit within a limited area, it is necessary for the agent to be in the vicinity of at least one base at each point along the path in order to receive a signal. The algorithm starts with forming a specific network, based on the starting point such that only the bases which allow the described motion are included. A second step is based on RRT*, where each edge is created solving an optimal control problem that at the end provides a human-like path. Finally the best path is selected among all the ones that reach the goal region with the minimum cost.

Basak Sakcak, Luca Bascetta, Gianni Ferretti

Indoor Real-Time Localisation for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles Fusing Vision, Odometry and IMU Data

Due to the increasing usage of service and industrial autonomous vehicles, a precise localisation is an essential component required in many applications, e.g. indoor robot navigation. In open outdoor environments, differential GPS systems can provide precise positioning information. However, there are many applications in which GPS cannot be used, such as indoor environments. In this work, we aim to increase robot autonomy providing a localisation system based on passive markers, that fuses three kinds of data through extended Kalman filters. With the use of low cost devices, the optical data are combined with other robots’ sensor signals, i.e. odometry and inertial measurement units (IMU) data, in order to obtain accurate localisation at higher tracking frequencies. The entire system has been developed fully integrated with the Robotic Operating System (ROS) and has been validated with real robots.

Alessandro Faralli, Niko Giovannini, Simone Nardi, Lucia Pallottino

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems


Disasters and Emergency Management in Chemical and Industrial Plants: Drones Simulation for Education and Training

The use of simulation for training is proven to be extremely effective both in term of costs and in term of its flexibility for different uses and applications, such as building situation awareness and creating scenarios for training scopes. The aim of the project proposed is to demonstrate the powerful rule of simulation in UAV pilots’ cooperative training; the project presented makes use of a 3D simulation environment in order to build a realistic condition of an emergency situation in a chemical plant for the first responders. The model proposed makes use of HLA (High Level Architecture) standards in order to be potentially federated with other existing simulators.In the solution proposed, the pilot of the drone must accomplish the mission in a given time piloting a UAV; the scenario is based inside a chemical plant where a disaster is newly occurred. Then ability of the pilot is measured by the system and several constraints are reproduced to provide a realistic training scenario (such as small spaces and barriers to overcome, battery durations, risks of damages due to high temperatures zones, etc.); the system records and tracks all the actions of the pilot and gives a feedback to the user at the end of the simulation time.

Agostino Bruzzone, Francesco Longo, Marina Massei, Letizia Nicoletti, Matteo Agresta, Riccardo Di Matteo, Giovanni Luca Maglione, Giuseppina Murino, Antonio Padovano

DeSIRE 2: Satcom Modeling and Simulation a Powerful Tool to Enable Cost Effective and Safe Approach to RPAS Operational Deployment

Drones are a breakthrough systemic solution for a number of applications, from institutional and governmental purposes to a wide range of possible commercial applications. Autonomous and remotely controlled machines, fully integrated with many devices all connected wherever they are, are going to be a major part of the Internet of Things (IoT), where satellite communication plays a pivotal role.Modelling and Simulation (M&S) are very helpful tools in the design and risk reduction of sustainable integration of Autonomous Systems into cost effective operational activities. As matter of fact, the M&S approach is extensively used in the DeSIRE 2 (Demonstration of the use of Satellites complementing Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems integrated in non-segregated airspace 2nd Element). The ongoing Project, recently launched by the European Space Agency and the European Defence Agency, aims to demonstrate a service based on a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) flying in Beyond Radio Line of Sight (BRLOS) using space assets (SatCom, SatNav). The project has been kicked off in April 2015, after a selective process among important European consortia, and is leaded by Telespazio.Through Model and Simulation, within DeSIRE 2 it will be possible to:Decrease costs, considering the loop “designing, building, testing, redesigning, rebuilding, retesting”;Make easier the “what-if” definition and analysis allowing the definition and experimentation and test of CONOPS;De-risk the overall project.To characterize adequately the Satcom link of DeSIRE 2 against the stringent performance requirements of the aeronautical context, an intensive measurement campaign is required. Concerning flight, the testing hours for a large RPAS are very costly. Therefore, it has been decided to add to the experimental flight campaign a combination of simulated and emulated environments, which replicate, as much as possible, the real operational conditions.The models used in the simulation will be refined during the iterations, increasing the robustness and reliability, thus, making available results otherwise difficult, costly and even dangerous to be experiment directly in the real world.An overview of the main expected results and how they should support the European standardisation and regulatory activities in the framework of the Air Traffic Insertion (ATI), especially for the definition of future satellite-based command & control datalinks, will be given as well. The paper will explain how the project intends to characterise the Satcom command and control datalinks for both Ka and L frequency bands.It will be described how the threefold simulation/emulation/flight campaign approach will be followed to demonstrate that the system meets or exceeds the design requirement by combining:Mission Simulation, including satcom, airborne, mission applications and combination of the above segments;(Satcom) Emulation with real satellite full communication and RPA/RPS simulators.Mixed simulation and emulation will also be considered and real hardware will be introduced in the simulation loop (e.g. real satellite transponders and on board satcom terminals);Flight Campaign.At any stage of this iteration, the results will be fed-back into the simulation/emulation chain. For example, the measured jitter and error rates will be introduced to update the parameters for the simulators for more trustworthy results.

Giancarlo Cosenza, Alessandro Mura, Alessandro Righetto, Fabio De Piccoli, Dario Rapisardi, Laura Anselmi

Modelling of the UAV Safety Manoeuvre for the Air Insertion Operations

Tempo and complexity of the contemporary asymmetric battlefield is on the increase and time for a certain component delivery (ammunition, medical kit, vaccine and so on), for instance in the special operations, could be critical. Usually, the only way in these situations is a fast air delivery of concrete material to the “hot” destination zone. Contemporary air insertion in that case is usually performed by manned or unmanned (if available) system with human intuitive manoeuvre planning supported by information from ISR systems. In this case, there is almost impossible to achieve a fast, detailed and mathematically optimal solution with the real time implementation to the UAV control system (autopilot). The article describes a modelling approach which leads to high automation and optimal (autonomous) reasoning in case of 3D UAV path planning, respecting the operational situation in the area, manoeuvre limits of the UAV and potential threat in the operational area. The solution is based on detailed operational area 3D modelling, known and unknown probabilistic threat simulation and its capability estimation, quantification of safety area parameters and large 3D (multi-criteria) safety matrix development, criterial function and boundary condition specification, UAV air manoeuvre and constraints algorithm development, optimal UAV path search and operational evaluation.

Jan Mazal, Petr Stodola, Dalibor Procházka, Libor Kutěj, Radomír Ščurek, Josef Procházka

UAV as a Service: A Network Simulation Environment to Identify Performance and Security Issues for Commercial UAVs in a Coordinated, Cooperative Environment

UAV as a Service (UAVaaS) is a proposed cloud orchestration framework aiming to provide efficient coordination and cooperation of commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). This work proposes a simulated environment to perform analysis and testing for UAVaaS integration. The environment is realized using off-the-shelf frameworks such as Flight Gear and Ardupilot’s Software In The Loop to simulate real world UAV hardware, as well as web service and messaging API’s such as RabbitMQ and Java Spring Framework to simulate UAVaaS cloud coordinator and client functionality. This simulation environment is devised to conduct further research into the network performance and security issues associated with UAVaaS configurations.

Justin Yapp, Remzi Seker, Radu Babiceanu

Modelling and Simulation Application


Sniper Line-of Sight Calculations for Route Planning in Asymmetric Military Environments

Situation aware route planning plays a key role in modern urban warfare. While planning routes to military convoys decision support systems have to take into account multiple environmental conditions to find safe routes and minimize the risk of convoy being attacked during mission. Considering that nowadays battles are fought in asymmetric conditions where red forces almost always have an upper hand then all systems aiding soldiers must try to take into account as much of those conditions as possible. This paper proposes a way how snipers locations and their line-of-sight can be added to dynamic threat assessment which in turn is an input for route planning. Risk minimization is done by using well known A* route planning algorithm where threat is presented as one of graph edge parameters that is in added to other parameters describing the surrounding environment.

Ove Kreison, Toomas Ruuben

The Design of 3D Laser Range Finder for Robot Navigation and Mapping in Industrial Environment with Point Clouds Preprocessing

This article describes the design of 3D Laser range finder (LRF) for industrial and mine environment. The 3D LRF is designed for usage on middle size robots and can be used for environment mapping and navigation. The design reflects heavy and dirty working conditions in industrial environment and it is equipped by own methane sensor for usage in mine. The process of design started with definition of requirements, follows by dynamic analysis and selection of suitable parts. The housing is designed from stainless steel and it encloses all electrical and mechanical components. The internal control unit is designed to suit modern trends of fog computing. It is equipped with four cores ARM CPU and IMU and it is able to preprocess the acquired point clouds in real time.

Petr Olivka, Milan Mihola, Petr Novák, Tomáš Kot, Ján Babjak

Accuracy of Robotic Elastic Object Manipulation as a Function of Material Properties

We deal with the problem of thin string (1D) or plate (2D) elastic material folding and its modeling. The examples could be metallic wire, metal, kevlar or rubber sheet, fabric, or as in our case, garment. The simplest scenario attempts to fold rectangular sheet in the middle. The quality of the fold is measured by relative displacement of the sheet edges. We use this scenario to analyse the effect of the inaccurate estimation of the material properties on the fold quality. The same method can be used for accurate placing of the elastic sheet in applications, e.g. the industrial production assembly.In our previous work, we designed a model simulating the behavior of homogeneous rectangular garment during a relatively slow folding by a dual-arm robot. The physics based model consists of a set of differential equations derived from the static forces equilibrium. Each folding phase is specified by a set of boundary conditions. The simulation of the garment behavior is computed by solving the boundary value problem. We have shown that the model depends on a single material parameter, which is a weight to stiffness ratio. For a known weight to stiffness ratio, the model is solved numerically to obtain the folding trajectory executed by the robotic arms later.The weight to stiffness ratio can be estimated in the course of folding or manually in advance. The goal of this contribution is to analyse the effect of the ratio inaccurate estimation on the resulting fold. The analysis is performed by simulation and in a real robotic garment folding using the CloPeMa dual-arm robotic testbed. In addition, we consider a situation, in which the weight to stiffness ratio cannot be measured exactly but the range of the ratio values is known. We demonstrate that the fixed value of the ratio produces acceptable fold quality for a reasonable range of the ratio values. We show that only four weight to stiffness ratio values can be used to fold all typical fabrics varying from a soft (e.g. sateen) to a stiff (e.g. denim) material with the reasonable accuracy. Experiments show that for a given range of the weight to stiffness ratio one has to choose the value on the pliable end of the range to achieve acceptable results.

Vladimír Petrík, Vladimír Smutný, Pavel Krsek, Václav Hlaváč

Tactical Decision Support System to Aid Commanders in Their Decision-Making

This paper deals with the Tactical Decision Support System (TDSS) being developed at University of Defence, Brno, since 2006. TDSS is a command and control system designed for commanders of the Czech Army to support them in their decision-making processes on the tactical level. In the first part of the article, the basic characteristics and functions of the system are introduced. Next, advanced models of military tactics are presented including the model of optimal logistics on the battlefield, model of optimal cooperative reconnaissance by a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles, and model of optimal cooperative reconnaissance by a fleet of ground elements. The last part of the article discusses the basic metaheuristic methods and approached used in our models. Finally, the paper summarizes some perspectives of our future work.

Petr Stodola, Jan Mazal


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