SeeByte has been awarded a contract by the UK’s Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) to continue work with the NATO SCI-343 Research Task Group on research into the negotiation, maturation, and testing of a communications protocol for the autonomous interoperability of multi-domain robotic vehicles in communication-limited environments.
The overarching goal of the group is to allow systems operating with any autonomy software to integrate to this protocol and interoperate with any other system using the protocol. SeeByte’s Neptune mission-level autonomy system for marine and maritime unmanned systems will be modified for the project to demonstrate interoperability between different autonomous systems.
Neptune’s decentralised autonomy architecture allows multiple tasks to be run in parallel, with the vehicles automatically taking responsibility for tasks. This optimises mission execution by allowing interchangeability, where vehicles can swap tasks, add new tasks, or manage malfunctions. Information is shared across the entire squad as communication allows, but the decentralised autonomy ensures vehicles operate even in comms-denied environments.
SeeByte plans to demonstrate their collaborative autonomy capability using SCI-343 at sea during the NATO REPMUS 2022 maritime unmanned systems exercise.
Andrea Munafo, Engineering Manager at SeeByte, commented: “Interoperability between autonomous systems, and in particular in comms-limited environments, is a great challenge in the underwater domain. It is a great opportunity for us to provide a solution and to demonstrate this capability at sea.”