C-BDI Resilient Teams multi-agent architecture underlying iWatchdog, using autonomous air and land vehicles as an example
AOS will be developing next generation of Intelligent Software Agent technology with Australian Defence Department funding. Minister for Defence Industry, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, on 4th April, announced that AOS has been awarded a $1.3M Defence Innovation Hub contract to develop “C-BDI Resilient Teams”.
This contract focuses on ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), an area of defence that is developing very rapidly, with the availability of new generations of existing sensors, such as active phased array radars and improved IR sensors. As well there is a plethora of new sensors and platforms, e.g., unmanned drones or UAVs equipped to stream video and self-drive vehicles and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) with a variety of high resolution, low cost, sensors.
As such, the challenge lies not in the sensors, but the ability to field a number of mobile sensors in the right place at the right time, while minimising manpower. The human involvement should be in ISR assessment and decision making, with the distributed sensor system operating autonomously under human oversight.
The C-BDI Resilient Agent Teams™ is a software system – a software “engine” – that underlies this capability. It will allow the real-time coordination of mobile ISR assets of different types, integrating various sensor/platform outputs that complement each other and are presented as a coordinated situational picture, thereby streamlining the mission decision-making process.
C-BDI Resilient Agent Teams overcomes the challenge of building a distributed ISR capability, made up of various mobile and autonomous sensor platforms, and one that is resilient in the circumstances of unreliable communications and cyber-attack. Modern distributed systems, particularly those collecting information from a number of sources, are vulnerable to both cyber penetration, and “spoofing”.
An initial release of C-BDI will support AOS’s intelligent Watch Dog™ (iWatchdog), an autonomous response system comprised of air, land, maritime and underwater vehicles fitted with various sensors. iWatchdog’s initial application is to Air Base protection for RAAF, as part of the Airbase Command & Control Capability System, a key program for Combat Support Group.