Mission-based Architecture for Swarm Composability (MASC) [video]
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As robotic swarms become increasingly relevant in military operations, their inherent automation accelerates the rhythm of warfare by shortening decision cycles. In order to employ these systems effectively, mission doctrine should be considered in swarm system design. Current swarm system design methods are primarily bottom-up approaches focused on the behavior of individual agents. This research introduces the Mission-based Architecture for Swarm Composability (MASC) and methodology by applying a mission engineering approach with model-based systems engineering foundations to formalize a swarm architecture. MASC formalizes swarm mission doctrine as a primary design factor in swarm systems engineering to promote architecture reusability across missions and support mission planning in future operational systems. The MASC framework and methodology aim to break down the swarm system's complexity into more manageable pattern elements and focuses on designing behaviors at the higher sub-swarm level rather than down at the individual agent level. MASC is constructed using a top-down, hierarchical approach with an overarching mission decomposed into phases, tactics, plays, and algorithms. MASC is also designed to support operational mission planning by focusing the operator's attention to the swarm tactics level rather than forcing them to program low-level behaviors. This work was inspired by and builds upon the groundbreaking UAV swarm field experimentation conducted by the ARSENL team.
CRUSER TechCon 2018 Research at NPS. Tuesday 1: Swarming
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