50 vs. 50 by 2015: Swarm vs. Swarm UAV Live-Fly Competition at the Naval Postgraduate School
Chung, Timothy H.
Jones, Kevin D.
Day, Michael A.
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Aerial Combat Swarms is a swarm vs. swarm UA V live-fly competition, designed to inspire new concepts of operations and illuminate new tactics in unmanned systems employment, specifically in the swarm and counter-swarm robotics arenas. The competition scenario involves a tournament of "battles" where in each such battle two teams comprising many autonomous aerial robots vie for air superiority while simultaneously defending a high value unit on the ground and/or attacking that of the opponent's. The vision for the inaugural grand challenge event is for SO vs. SO UAVs by the year 2015. The Aerial Combat Swarms competition further serves as an innovation testbed, providing the infrastructure and open architecture interface definitions for hardware/software/network connections between UAVs, ground command stations, observers, and the "Arbiter," which serves as an "autonomous referee." An additional element includes specifications for operating in a virtual battle arena for modeling and simulation experiments and hardware-in-the-Ioop flight validation. The overarching open design enables participants to leverage existing technologies available from the Aerial Combat Swarms open source community. The ambitious grand challenge competition effort described in this paper presents a novel and unique opportunity to explore advanced tactics for robotic swarms. Perhaps more increasingly and operationally relevant, this competition actively accelerates future concepts for also engaging and defeating adversarial unmanned systems.
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