Boeing Australia partners with DCRC on AI development

written by Staff reporter | October 9, 2019
Boeing Phantom Works International chief engineer Emily Hughes and Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre Professor Jason Scholz. (Boeing).
Boeing Phantom Works International chief engineer Emily Hughes and Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre Professor Jason Scholz. (Boeing).

Boeing will partner Australia’s Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (DCRC) to develop advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to create smarter unmanned systems.

The first innovation project under the partnership involved Boeing Australia working with the DCRC to examine an unmanned system’s route planning, location, and identification of objects and the platform’s subsequent behavioural response.

Boeing Australia said in a statement on September 25 embedding machine learning techniques on-board would help unmanned systems better understand and react to threat environments.

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“Over the next 12 months, Boeing Australia will design and test cognitive AI algorithms to enable sensing under anti-access conditions and to navigate and conduct enhanced tactics in denied environments,” director of Phantom Works International Dr Shane Arnott said in a statement.

The Australian government established the DCRC for Trusted Autonomous Systems in 2017 as part of efforts to support the rapid creation and transition of industry-led trustworthy smart-machine technologies through the innovation ecosystem to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

“Together with Boeing, we are investing in advanced technology that can have real game-changing product outcomes for our military to match the evolving threats and achieve a sustainable autonomous industry for Australia,” DCRC for Trusted Autonomous Systems chief executive Professor Jason Scholz said.

Boeing said it would work with Australian university partners, as well as Brisbane-based supplier RF Designs, to flight-test and evaluate the capability with autonomous high performance jets.

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At the 2019 Avalon Airshow, the Australian government unveiled the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (ATS), an Australian-designed fighter-sized unmanned system designed to act as a “loyal wingman” in conjunction with high value assets such as the P-8A Poseidon or E-7A Wedgetail, or with combat aircraft such as the F-35A or F/A-18F.

The system was being developed in conjunction with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Defence Science & Technology (DST) Group.

For the development, Boeing has partnered with companies such as BAE Systems Australia, Ferra Engineering, RUAG Australia, Micro Electronic Technologies, AME Systems, and Allied Data Systems.

For more defence stories, please go to our sister publication ADBR

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