Project to integrate autonomous drones in combat vehicle – CV90

Carmenta and BAE Systems Hägglunds, together with hardware UAV manufacturer Airolit, have partnered to develop a solution with the objective of integrating autonomous drone surveillance capabilities into combat vehicle – CV90. The objective is extended sensor reach and situational awareness.

In the project, Carmenta has developed a demonstrator for advanced 3D mission planning of autonomous BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight) drones.

The solution will serve as an additional remote sensor for the vehicle and enables enhanced intelligence-gathering. It makes it possible to send out silent drones with preprogrammed surveillance missions, or drones that can communicate video intelligence back to the vehicle in real-time, working as an autonomous loyal wingman for combat vehicles. Several successful test flights have been conducted as part of the project.

“ Autonomous drones with intelligence-gathering technology can provide critical real-time data from the battlefield, offering valuable insights for decision-making”, said Stefan Thelin, Head of Technology, at BAE Systems Hägglunds. “It is a vital field for continuous development, and we are thrilled by the promising results that we have achieved in this project so far and that it support our goal to be able to integrate any UAV into the CV90.”

In the application, routes are generated with the objective to remain concealed. This is achieved by closely following the terrain and using line-of-sight analyses to avoid enemy threats. Images and videos captured by the drone are projected onto a 3D map and further analysed using a mixed reality VR headsets from the virtual and mixed reality company Varjo.

The overlay of the drone video onto the 3D map enables all relevant intelligence to be displayed in one view, enabling effective decision-making in time-critical situations. The visualisation in a mixed VR environment further pushes the boundaries for time-critical decision-making powered by geospatial technologies – especially when two or more users wearing VR headsets can work together on the same mixed reality environment.

“ Over the past years, Carmenta has developed adaptable and scalable functionality for planning and tactical routing of drones as part of several international UAS-related R&D projects.”, said Torbjörn Lönnqvist, CEO at Carmenta. “We are proud to be selected as a partner to BAE Systems Hägglunds for the development and integration of autonomous drones for CV90.”

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