The immediate focus of Stealth-Planck will be to pair the ASV technology with a drone capability, essentially by allowing the ASV to launch its own drone.
By Matt Birney
ASX-listed Strategic Elements continues to build momentum with its autonomous vehicle technologies having added cutting-edge drone navigation software to its repertoire, after locking in a collaborative agreement with US-based Planck AeroSystems.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will work together to marry Strategic’s Autonomous Surveillance Vehicle, or “ASV” technology with Planck’s precision landing software allowing ASV’s to autonomously launch and retrieve drones to augment their surveillance capability. The joint venture will also collaborate on exploring commercial opportunities for the optimised paring in the governmental, industrial and defence applications.
Strategic Elements’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Stealth Technologies, has teamed up with US tech-giant Honeywell to develop the ASV, bringing together three of the company’s cutting-edge technological advancements into one platform. These core technologies include auto-drive hardware, the “Stealth” operating system and the Stealth’s custom robotics.
The ASV is a ground-based system that can perform a variety of tasks from testing perimeter intrusion detection systems through to surveillance, and potentially a range of other more arduous tasks. Curiously, Strategic is now looking to augment this capability further and has teamed up with Planck AeroSystems to pair the ASV with the functionality of an airborne drone.
Planck AeroSystems’ primary offering is the Autonomous Control Engine, or “ACE”. This embedded software runs on unmanned aircraft, or drones, and allows these aerial platforms to launch, navigate, plan missions and be recovered from moving vehicles. The software allows for precision take-off and landing – even in tight spaces – utilising camera and sensor technology to account for various factors when deploying, including wind as well as the roll, pitch and heave of the parent vehicle or vessel.
The intelligent navigation and precision landing systems within ACE do not require GPS or active communications, setting the technology apart from the majority of drone control systems. Instead, the system uses cameras, sensors and embedded artificial intelligence to navigate and manoeuvre the drone completely untethering the aerial platform. This navigation solution also enables a variety of enhanced capabilities that touch upon the realms of Orwellian fiction, including surveillance, situational awareness and force protection.
The immediate focus of the Stealth-Planck joint venture will be to pair the ASV technology with a drone capability, essentially taking the ASV concept to the next level by integrating the software solution and allowing the ASV to launch a retrieve its own drone. The combined ASV and drone platforms will provide an enhanced operational capability and wealth of potential deployment options from patrolling and surveillance through to mapping, navigation, personnel tracking and “scene reasoning”.
They will also explore the use of a tethered drone for use in controlled airspace, such a military bases and civilian airports.
The Stealth-Planck joint venture plans to operate over an initial 6-month period, with Stealth having free use of the ACE technology to trial in its own platforms. Both parties are examining commercialisation of the collaborative technology solutions.
Strategic is working on the assumption the targeted global perimeter security market will continue to expand at a rapid rate forecasting it to be worth in excess of US$280 billion by 2025. The opportunity is expected to offer the company a lucrative incentive for in its ongoing development and augmentation of its cutting-edge autonomous technologies.
With the company’s ground-based ASV already being trialled by the WA Department of Corrections and Strategic continuing to push the envelope via pairing the technology with an aerial drone, the company looks firmly on track toward capturing its own slice of the pie in the evolving autonomous surveillance market.
Originally published at The West