Military Embedded Systems

AI-enabled autonomous systems for ISR garner Army demo contract


January 07, 2022

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

AI-enabled autonomous systems for ISR garner Army demo contract
U.S. Army photo

WOBURN, Mass. Intelligent autonomous system company Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) has won a contract from the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) to demonstrate the disruptive power of autonomous air and space platforms collaborating to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) information.

SSCI's concept -- chosen as part of the Army's XTECH RCCTO Army Strategic Rapid Acquisition (AStRA) competition -- is aimed at advancing technology insertion in its18-month Army Responsive Tactical ISR Technology (ARTIST) program. According to information about the RRCTO award, the SSCI ARTIST program runs its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-enabled software suite, dubbed Collaborative Mission Autonomy (CMA), on edge processors located both on a satellite and on a pair of tactical air platform unmanned aerial systems (UASs).  

Ultimately, say SSCI officials, the goal of ARTIST is to demonstrate that a soldier in the field can issue a mission-service request (MSR) from a smartphone to request intelligence data; the MSR is distributed to both the space and air layers and enables those layers to collaborate to find, fix, target, and track objects of interest specified in the MSR. Satellite data will cue and refine the tactical air platform search patterns and update its satellites on their availability to ensure maximized focus on the area of interest. 

Dr. Owen Brown, Vice President of Solutions Development at SSCI, says that the company's single-click MSR paradigm will "advance the ball downfield" in terms of AI/ ML technologies, employed at the edge, to give users in the field new capabilities. 

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