New Research Effort on AI & Swarming in Tactical UAS

Quantum-Systems, Airbus Defence and Space, and Spleenlab will combine resources and experience to demonstrate and analyze the AI building blocks required for swarms of tactical UAS By Caroline Rees / 05 Jul 2023
Collaboration Explores AI & Swarming in Tactical UAS
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Quantum-Systems GmbH, Airbus Defence and Space GmbH, and Spleenlab GmbH have been awarded a research contract by the German Armed Forces Planning Office to demonstrate and analyze the AI building blocks required for swarms of tactical UAS in a real-world scenario. 

Known as KITU 2 (Künstliche Intelligenz für taktische UAS; Artificial Intelligence for tactical UAS), the project is funded by the German Ministry of Defence and the focus of the study is on the effectiveness of tactical UAS. 

Through this new partnership, each company will leverage and bring in their key strengths:

  • Quantum-Systems will provide its Vector 2-in-1 tactical aerial reconnaissance platform with built in AI edge-computing capabilities. The 2-in-1 platform enables heterogenous swarms, as it can be deployed as fixed-wing eVTOL Vector or as the multicopter Scorpion UAS and allows showcasing challenging and real-life missions with its flight endurance of 3 hours. Currently, Quantum-Systems is working on a family of systems strategy that will see its smaller and bigger platforms enter the market in 2024 and 2025 and provide customers with a seamless layered approach regarding range, flight time and payload capabilities.
  • Airbus Defence and Space will contribute with trusted swarming algorithms, simulation environments and experimental hardware, and additionally required AI building blocks.
  • Spleenlab brings its expertise in AI edge software for swarming, which involves object recognition and robust navigation methods in communication denied environments.

The companies believe that additional programs will also benefit from the research results and small UAS.

In the joint Main Ground Combat Systems (MGCS) program of France and Germany, ongoing since 2018, both countries are working on a new weapon system to expand the defensive and offensive capabilities of main battle tanks on the battlefield by integrating next generation technology and multiple platforms.

In the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program, France, Germany, and Spain are developing a system consisting of manned new generation fighters, unmanned aircrafts, and new weapons and communications systems.

Both programs aim to bring multi-platform and multi-vehicle swarming to the battlefield and will benefit from the outcome of the KITU 2 program. 

Swarming enables force multiplication by controlling multiple UAS with a reduced ground or air crew. According to Quantum-Systems, studies from the ongoing war in Ukraine have shown that multiple smaller and lower cost UAS might be more effective at delivering aerial reconnaissance results from the battlefield, as larger areas can be covered simultaneously, and losses can be mitigated more easily.

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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