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Proposed Defence CRC in Trusted Autonomous Systems

Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre
Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre

A Powerpoint presentation outlines the background, broad requirements and existing projects.

Requests for Information on areas of research are invited from academia that will strengthen the current projects or address Defence requirements not yet covered by a project.

Autonomous and robotic systems is one of the few areas of current technology that legitimately qualifies as having a potentially revolutionary impact on Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations. It has the capacity to extend the reach and access of operations, whilst simultaneously reducing risk to personnel; it will provide increased capability across the battlespace; and, in the longer term, will reduce the cost of acquisition and operations. When networked with manned platforms in the wider battle-space, autonomous systems also have the potential to increase the coherency of effort and operational tempo of the ADF and thereby offer higher operational effectiveness per warfighter. Autonomous systems will be a key aspect of future "third offset" operations with allies.

The proposed Defence CRC in Trusted Autonomous Systems aims to develop and deliver game-changing autonomous systems and robotics technology, with clear pull and uptake into deployable defence programs and capabilities. The proposed CRC will comprise a fundamental research program and a functional technology program, together leading to a set of agile capability demonstrators showcasing trusted autonomous systems. The proposed CRC will engage both academic and industry partners.

The fundamental research program aims to build new science and technology in game-changing areas of autonomous systems. Three areas are identified:

  • Machine Cognition – machine learning, artificial intelligence, symbolic reasoning and logic, theory of mind, planning, decision making and social agents.
  • Human-Autonomy Integration – human-machine models, behavioural and social models, psychometrics, shared decision making, trust and uncertainty, human-machine communications and narrative.
  • Persistent Autonomy – managing uncertainty and unpredictability, persistent perception, multi-modal fusion, self-healing systems, aggressive actuation.

The functional technology program aims to pull through and integrate outcomes from the fundamental research into three areas:

  • Perception and Sensing – Including resilient perception, scene situation and self-understanding, modular low-cost intelligent sensors, bio-inspired sensing.
  • Effectors and Platforms –self-healing platforms, adaptable platforms and effectors, bio-inspired platforms, micro-systems, novel actuation, low observability.
  • Intelligent Systems – multi-modal multi-platform data fusion, multi-platform decision making, human-system integration.

The capability demonstration program aims to showcase integrated capabilities at a level that is realistic against defence requirements. The demonstration program will adopt an agile methodology, aiming to rapidly integrate and demonstrate new ideas, theories and technologies from research and technology programs. A critical focus will be on demonstrating trusted and resilient autonomy. Key capability demonstrator areas identified include: wide-area ocean surveillance, counter insurgency operations, cyber-electronic warfare operations, urban and littoral operations, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.

Proposed Defence CRC in Trusted Autonomous Systems - Research Strategy