HORIBA MIRA has developed VIKING, a multirole Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)platform with Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence, Low Bandwidth Communications Supervision, and Command and Control. It was configured for agile C3 for AWE20 through the inclusion of intelligent mesh communications systems, which act as a mobile ‘repeater’ node to extend C3 coverage. VIKING delivers the capability through:

  • A diesel / electric parallel hybrid power train providing long range and silent operation
  • A large on-board high voltage battery pack which powers significant communications and mission equipment and provides silent watch capability
  • A 6 x 6 drivetrain which provides high mobility in complex terrain and high speed on roads and tracks for rapid deployment
  • Novel low bandwidth C2 techniques with AI which enables resilient multi-vehicle operation and provides ISTAR over low bandwidth communications

The use of UGV technology supports command-on-the-move and can help facilitate dispersed HQs.

Using a remote communications node on VIKING can improve the survivability and agility of the HQ by making the high-power communications remote from the HQ. Novel low bandwidth unmanned vehicle command and control using AI demonstrates how unmanned assets could be controlled and supervised in future.

The UGV calculates a strategic route to the objective and can drive autonomously, avoiding any obstacles on route, whilst being supervised and controlled using AI-based low bandwidth comms techniques.

The UGV can advance with the mobile dispersed HQ enabling command-on-the-move and bringing network communications coverage forward ahead of the HQ. The UGV also provides an AI-enabled ISTAR capability providing situation awareness to protect mobile HQ.

For the AWE 20 demonstration, HORIBA MIRA used a VIKING UGV to host Agile C2 Mesh Networking with the semi-autonomous ISTAR-equipped UGV extending C2 to the MERLIN Hazardous Area Survey and Recce robot.

Both UGVs were controlled and sent battlefield data back over the same mesh network with one UGV controlled via another.