tpgroup is a leading developer of cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven solutions that solve complex problems across a wide range of domains.
This includes our assured software which enables safe and secure autonomous navigation for single or multiple manned and unmanned platforms including USVs (unmanned surface vessels), UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), and UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles).
The Northstar Technology Suite
Integrated AI digital suite of AI tools
Northstar is a state-of-the-art software system that has been developed to support transformation in organisations – combining digital world building with a toolbox of autonomy, machine learning decision support, constraint based planning and resource optimisation. It enables assured autonomy and better decision-making.
This software is being used globally from developing and delivering automated targets for the U.S Air Force; showing how self-controlled unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) can help to improve safety and endurance in high-risk marine environments; and optimising production for a global energy company based in the UAE.
Optimal path planning and digital world-building
Northstar provides assured, dynamic and risk-aware optimised path planning and collision avoidance for single or multiple platforms. Combining known information with live sensor data to create sophisticated dynamic 4-D models of the environment, Northstar is designed to reduce costs and human error on land, at sea and in the air.
Northstar factors in your objectives from the fastest route to lowest fuel consumption to achieve safer and more efficient missions. Suitable for multiple industries, it can deliver in three critical areas
Discover: surveying, inspecting and surveillance
Plan: Safe and secure autonomous operations
Deliver: People, equipment, supplies
The AI-based autonomous navigation system software enhances the autonomy level and capability of platforms to achieve their mission through helping them to understand their environment, even in GPS-denied locations, allowing them to respond to changing conditions in real-time without any need for human intervention.
The AI path-planning system takes into account multiple dynamic user-defined constraints, including specific platform characteristics, performance requirements, fuel consumption, time and cost. These are combined with environmental data from maps, forecasts and sensor data.
All these parameters are fed into a sophisticated digital world-building engine that accurately and dynamically models the environment, taking into account constantly-changing inputs from radar, LiDAR, sonar bathymetry, imaging sensors and more. The result is a multi-layered synthetic model that can be used to plan the most optimal route, avoiding any moving, stationary, mapped or unmapped obstacles.
Northstar’s most advanced use case is the development of autonomous navigation for unmanned operations in the maritime sector. Achieving a technical readiness level of 7, Northstar has been successfully trialled on a variety of vessel types and within a range of environments that include congested waterways and in open water.
The system is currently supporting a program initiated by the UK Ministry of Defence that aims to use autonomous surface vessels to make mine countermeasures operations safer.
UGVs and Land-based Autonomous Vehicles
Northstar is currently being evaluated on the X3 UGV to demonstrate safe navigation of an unmanned vehicle across a remote landscape, far from its base station and in GPS-denied environments. Initial trials have already enabled the X3 to plot a course across land the size of a football field and reach its destination trouble-free with human intervention.
We are also working with the US Department of Defense to develop and demonstrate fully autonomous targets to the United States Air Force (USAF). The targets are ultimately intended to simulate convoys of multiple vehicle types moving at speed to provide a high level of realism for pilots during targeting and strike training and munition capability assessment missions.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Our fully autonomous navigation system is being used by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) to demonstrate reliable AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) operation in congested coastal waters such as ports and harbours. Such environments are highly challenging due to not only the presence of vessel traffic but also the varied underwater terrain and significant tidal and current effects.
Northstar can empower autonomous vehicles operating in all domains to maintain optimal operations even as the environment changes. The versatile system can allow these platforms to work together – for example, controlling both an autonomous vessel as well as a multirotor drone that collects additional data to help inform and update the vessel’s digital environment model.
tpgroup is working in partnership with gDi, its UAE solutions partner, to develop AI tools for use in the oil and gas industry in the UAE to deliver an optimised production modelling and management solution to a major oil and gas company, also in the UAE.
AI Navigation & Path Planning Software for Autonomous Vehicles