Command and Control of Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles

  • David H. Scheidt
Reference work entry


Motivated by Generals Rommel and Guderian’s innovative command and control techniques used in Europe in 1940, this chapter begins by using information theory to examine unmanned air vehicle (UAV) command and control (C2). The information-theoretic analysis provides a justification and uses cases for autonomous UAVs. An autonomous unmanned vehicle system “Organic Persistent Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance” (OPISR) that is designed to duplicate Guderian’s innovations is introduced. OPISR is an autonomous unmanned vehicle system that combines the immediate response to tactical ISR needs provided by organic assets with the time-on-station, minimal logistics provided by persistent unmanned systems. OPISR autonomous vehicles collectively interpret real-time tactical intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) objectives submitted by any number of disadvantaged users, gather the required ISR data, and return the needed intelligence directly to the affected user. OPISR is an ad hoc, decentralized system that requires no central base or authority and is capable of functioning in communications-denied environment. The chapter describes a series of experiments including 2011 experiments in which 16 fully autonomous unmanned vehicles, including 9 unmanned air vehicles, were used to simultaneously support mounted, dismounted and maritime users. During these experiments users provided abstract mission-level ISR needs to the “vehicle cloud.” These needs were interpreted by the vehicles, which self-organized and efficiently achieved the user’s objectives.


Autonomous Vehicle Ground Vehicle Unmanned Vehicle Blackboard System Truth Maintenance System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics LaboratoryLaurelUSA

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