Single Amphibious Integrated Precision Augmented Reality Navigation (SAIPAN) System

Navy SBIR 20.2 - Topic N202-090

Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) - Mr. Jeffrey Kent jeffrey.a.kent@usmc.mil

Opens: June 3, 2020 - Closes: July 2, 2020 (12:00 pm ET)

 

 

N202-090       TITLE: Single Amphibious Integrated Precision Augmented Reality Navigation (SAIPAN) System

 

RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a single amphibious integrated precision augmented-reality navigation system (SAIPAN) that would integrate the GPS signals from the vehicle/craft’s receiver with inertial guidance data and manually entered coordinates to display virtually marked lanes that an operator would use to assist in maneuvering. Ensure that the integrated system is able to communicate with other systems in the littoral environment to create a shared common operating picture, e.g., vehicles could receive updated information on explosive and non-explosive obstacles in the battle space and virtually display these obstacles onto an operator’s display that would enable the vehicle/craft operator to maneuver with much higher precision within smaller lanes. Design a system that would have a mounted hardware suite for vehicles/crafts (e.g., Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV),  Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV), Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), Landing Craft Utility (LCU)) and a portable/handheld hardware suite for small boats/personal watercraft (Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC)/RECON Team/SEAL Team).

 

DESCRIPTION: An integrated driver/operator display that uses a precision navigation and timing system to generate virtually marked lanes is needed for the littoral combat force of the 21st century. The Naval force lacks the ability to mark assault lanes in the littorals from the deep water through the beach zone using a single integrated system. Different platforms use different methods from the physical marking of lanes by humans through the virtual marking of lanes using GPS coordinates. Both the Navy and Marine Corps use different precision navigation systems on land and in the water. The Navy’s Amphibious Breaching System (ABS) contains four systems: (1) Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance Asset (COBRA), (2) MINENet Tactical, (3) JDAM Assault Breaching System (JABS), and (4) Augmented Reality Visualization for the Common Operating Picture (ARVCOP). The ARVCOP program was a USMC program within the ABS but failed and was not fielded. Without this capability the Naval Force cannot mark cleared lanes within mined waters and land. This increases risks to craft operating within a mined littoral environment. The Naval force must currently either accept the risk or spend large amounts of time, resources, and personnel to clear larger areas of land and sea mines. The Naval force could reduce risk and costs by investing in a single integrated add-on augmented/virtual driver display that provides a precision navigation capability. 

 

This single integrated add-on augmented/virtual driver display would pull GPS information from existing and future precision navigation suites (e.g., DoD Assisted GPS Receiver (DAGR), MAPS) and combine it with manually entered information to generate an augmented reality display. The operator would manually enter the grid points of cleared lanes into the system prior to departing the ship. The SAIPAN would combine this information with precision navigation and timing information of existing programs to build the augmented reality picture on the driver display. Once the craft departs the amphibious ship, the operator would drive the craft via the display. The virtual lanes on the display would enable the craft to operate in much narrower lanes with greater confidence than with current naval Tactics Techniques and Procedures (TTPs). The SAIPAN would have a mounted capability for larger crafts/vehicles (e.g., LCAC/LCU/Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB)/ACV/Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (LAV)) and dismounted capability for smaller crafts/vehicles (e.g., Combat Rubber Raiding Craft, Bridge Erection Boat, Divers, Special Forces) and people. Future increments of SAIPAN would take real-time information provided by both sensors and humans and integrate it with existing libraries of information to provide a real-time common operational picture. Inertial navigation data may also be integrated. The precision navigation display would show individual explosive and non-explosive obstacles and allow the craft to maneuver around these obstacles vice having to remove them, increasing the littoral mobility of craft and decreasing the amount of time and resources to clear this area of obstacles. 

 

There are some government off-the-shelf augmented reality driver displays that meet some of the specification listed below. 

 

The key performance parameters of the SAIPAN System include the following:

 

        Error rate of <1m

        Capable of integrating precision navigation and timing from COTS/GOTS GPS receiver

        Capable of integrating manually typed/downloaded navigation points from vehicle/craft operator

        Driver display video must be of a quality that meets or exceeds current craft/vehicle systems

        Driver display must enable the operation of the vehicle at night and day

        Augmented reality must be able to be seen at night within the driver/operator compartment

        Augmented reality must show left and right lateral limits of lanes

        Display must include 360 degree “birds eye-view” so operator can see direction of vehicle within the lane

        System must be compatible with electric power input from military craft/vehicle. Or it should be capable of operating from rechargeable batteries rated for the austere environments, per MIL-STD 810

        Vehicle-mounted system: Physical characteristics that permit installation in amphibious craft, minimizing cube and weight

        Portable/hand-held system: Physical characteristics equivalent to Commercial Off-the-Shelf tablets or smart phones (e.g., Panasonic Toughpad, Blackview BV5500)

 

PHASE I: Develop concepts for a SAIPAN system that meets the requirements described above. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting Marine Corps needs. Establish that the concepts can be developed into a useful product for the Marine Corps. Establish feasibility by material testing and analytical modeling, as appropriate. Provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that will address technical risk reduction.

 

PHASE II: Develop a scaled prototype for evaluation to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the Marine Corps requirements for the SAIPAN system. Demonstrate system performance through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Use evaluation results to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Marine Corps requirements. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Marine Corps use.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for Marine Corps use. Develop a SAIPAN system for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. Support the Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Marine Corps use.

 

The system has the potential to be employed by large ships and small crafts to navigate during inclement weather and thus improve safety.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Zysk, Thomas, et al.  “Augmented Reality for Precision Navigation: Enhancing Performance in High-Stress Environments.”  GPS World, 5 August 2019.

https://www.gpsworld.com/defensenavigationaugmented-reality-precision-navigation-13032/

 

2. Faturechi, Robert, et al. “Iran has Hundreds of Naval Mines, U.S. Navy Minesweepers Find Old Dishwashers and Car Parts.” ProPublica, 5 August 2019.   https://www.propublica.org/article/iran-has-hundreds-of-naval-mines-us-navy-minesweepers-find-old-dishwashers-car-parts

 

KEYWORDS: Augmented Reality, Precision Navigation, Driver Display, Navigation, Precision, Virtual

 

TPOC-1:   Anthony Molnar

Email:     anthony.molnar@usmc.mil

 

TPOC-2:   David Keeler

Email:     david.keeler@usmc.mil

 

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