The Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) directed the Services in 2009 to jointly
develop and demonstrate a common architecture for command and control of Department of Defense (DoD) Unmanned
Aircraft Systems (UAS) Groups 2 through 5.
The UAS Control Segment (UCS) Architecture is an architecture framework for specifying and designing the softwareintensive
capabilities of current and emerging UCS systems in the DoD inventory. The UCS Architecture is based on
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles that will be adopted by each of the Services as a common basis for
acquiring, integrating, and extending the capabilities of the UAS Control Segment.
The UAS Task Force established the UCS Working Group to develop and support the UCS Architecture. The Working
Group currently has over three hundred members, and is open to qualified representatives from DoD-approved defense
contractors, academia, and the Government. The UCS Architecture is currently at Release 2.2, with Release 3.0 planned
for July 2013. This paper discusses the current and planned elements of the UCS Architecture, and related activities of
the UCS Community of Interest.
Neya Systems, LLC competed in the CANINE program sponsored by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research
Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) which culminated in a competition held at Fort Benning as part of the
2012 Robotics Rodeo. As part of this program, we developed a robot with the capability to learn and recognize the
appearance of target objects, conduct an area search amid distractor objects and obstacles, and relocate the target object
in the same way that Mine dogs and Sentry dogs are used within military contexts for exploration and threat detection.
Neya teamed with the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University to develop vision-based solutions for
probabilistic target learning and recognition. In addition, we used a Mission Planning and Management System (MPMS)
to orchestrate complex search and retrieval tasks using a general set of modular autonomous services relating to robot
mobility, perception and grasping.
Current practice for the detection of chemical, biological and explosive (CBE) agent contamination on environmental
surfaces requires a human to don protective gear, manually take a sample and then package it for subsequent laboratory
analysis. Ground robotics now provides an operator-safe way to make these critical measurements. We describe the
development of a robot-deployed surface detection system for CBE agents that does not require the use of antibodies or
DNA primers. The detector is based on Raman spectroscopy, a reagentless technique that has the ability to
simultaneously identify multiple chemical and biological hazards. Preliminary testing showed the ability to identify
CBE simulants in 10 minutes or less. In an operator-blind study, this detector was able to correctly identify the presence
of trace explosive on weathered automobile body panels. This detector was successfully integrated on a highly agile
robot platform capable of both high speed and rough terrain operation. The detector is mounted to the end of five-axis
arm that allows precise interrogation of the environmental surfaces. The robot, arm and Raman detector are JAUS
compliant, and are controlled via a radio link from a single operator control unit. Results from the integration testing
and from limited field trials are presented.
The Soldier Universal Robot Controller (SURC) is a modular OCU designed for simultaneous control of heterogeneous
unmanned vehicles. It has a well defined, published API., defined using XML schemas, that allows other potential users
of the system to develop their own modules for rapid integration with SURC.
The SURC architecture is broken down into three layers: User Interface, Core Functions, and Transport. The User
Interface layer is the front end module which provides the human computer interface for user control of robots. The
Core layer is further divided into the following modules: Capabilities, Tactical, Mobility, and World Model. The
Capabilities module keeps track of the known robots and provides a list of specifications and services. The Mobility
module provides path planning via D*, while the Tactical module provides higher level mission planning (multi-agent/multi-mission) capabilities for collaborative operations. The World Model module is a relational database which
stores world model objects. Finally, a Transport module provides translation from the SURC architecture to the robot
specific messaging protocols (such as JAUS). This allows fast integration of new robot protocols into an existing SURC
implementation to enable a new system to rapidly leverage existing SURC capabilities.
The communication between different modules within the SURC architecture is done via XML. This gives developers
and users the flexibility to extend existing messages without breaking backwards compatibility. The modularity of
SURC offers users and developers alike the capability to create custom modules and plug them into place, as long as
they follow the pre defined messaging API for that module.