Working on an unmanned vehicle for a while, HAVELSAN is now about to finalize it. The company is preparing to make unmanned land, aerial, submarine and surface vehicles talk to each other through an algorithm that they work on to ensure that these vehicles can carry out joint operations.
Training and Simulation Technologies Gen. Mng. Asst. of HAVELSAN has been carrying out various works in relation to autonomous systems since 2018. In this context, R&D works are carried out in the areas of Swarm Robotic Systems and Robotic and Autonomous Ground Systems.
R&D works produced results, and a prototype of middle-class unmanned ground vehicle was recently designed and developed in 2019. Driving and on-site tests are currently being conducted for the prototype vehicle.
The prototype is being developed as a unit suitable to its physical environment, decisive and robust, comprising various features in it, including the autonomous vehicle control unit, motor control system, battery monitoring system, LIDAR, RADAR and other environmental sensors as well as a data fusion unit, artificial intelligence module and health status monitoring module.
HAVELSAN’s Unmanned Ground Vehicle weighs 350 kg and is 150 cm long, 100 cm wide and 60 cm high. Having an electric motor, the vehicle can speed up to 7 km/h. The vehicle performs with an operation time of over 2 hours.
New Unmanned Technologies’ Division has been established
Mehmet Akif Nacar, HAVELSAN’s Vice President for Training and Simulation Technologies, informed AA reporter about their efforts in the area of unmanned systems.
Stating that there have been significant developments since they exhibited the unmanned ground vehicle for the first time in International Defense Industry Fair held in Istanbul, Nacar said that they have finalized the organizational works in relation to this field within the company and they have established a unit as a “department”, where more than 20 personnel are now assigned to work.
Saying that they carry out R&D works for autonomous systems with their own resources, Nacar emphasized that their aim is to develop autonomous vehicles in 4 different categories, which are unmanned ground, aerial, surface and submarine vehicles.
“Equipped With Swarm Intelligence”
Mehmet Akif Nacar noted that they, as HAVELSAN, mostly focus on the development of algorithms and autonomous control of these vehicles rather than improvement of their mechanical features.
Highlighting the fact that the vehicle had a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Threat Detection System when it was first exhibited, Nacar said:
“That system is still available. There are also new telecommunication systems introduced in line with it. When needed, the useful load can be turned into another system such as a surveillance-reconnaissance system instead of KBRN. Moreover, we have launched our tests for swarm intelligence, we have now developed that algorithm, as well. We are improving swarm intelligence rather than focusing on autonomous working of a single vehicle, so that the vehicles can carry out various duties as a swarm, rather than individually. Various tests were conducted and tests related to task performances were also carried out. Tests were particularly conducted outside and on-site with many factors including snow, mud and rain. The performance of the vehicle is pretty good. From now on, we will keep coming up with new systems by using similar technologies in unmanned aerial, submarine and surface vehicles as well.
Countdown to Mass Production
Drawing attention to the fact that they have made great progress with a team working highly efficiently in a very short period of time like 1 year, Nacar said, “We will get this vehicle ready this year. It will be in a position to provide services to institutions specifically in line with their demands. Following the prototype tests and qualification tests, the vehicle will be ready to be mass-produced.”
Pointing out that Presidency of Defense Industries has already ongoing projects on unmanned ground vehicles at varying phases, Nacar said:
“We have chosen the middle-class vehicle for ourselves. However, on request, we are ready for any tasks assigned to us such as developing sub-systems for large-type vehicles or original vehicles.
Creating Own Algorithm
Stating that the ability to form swarms is on next year’s road map, Nacar said that R&D works have been launched and they now work for creating an own algorithm.
Stating that they base their works for autonomous vehicles on the “joint operation” concept, Nacar said:
“We consider developing unmanned ground vehicles for 4 different platforms. Therefore, here we talk about a swarm intelligence that will allow aerial, ground, surface and submarine platforms to carry out joint operations. Our efforts to this end will be in phases. This is an outstanding technological development. This has a certain pace of development, which depends on R&D, test processes and prototype. We started with unmanned ground vehicle, we will continue with aerial and submarine and surface vehicles. We will also have a chance to make all these vehicles perform as a swarm as if they were part of a single system by joining each other, talking to each other and coordinating with each other, because we will use the same protocols, algorithms and systems in each one of them.