Boeing opens autonomous systems lab


Boeing opened a new collaborative research laboratory on June 30 for the testing of hardware and software that will make a new generation of autonomous air, sea and land vehicles work together more effectively as a team or as a unit.

The Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory will serve as the company’s leading location for collaborative autonomous technology development with academic institutions and research partners, including government agencies and other companies.

The 8,100ft² (753m²) Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory is dedicated to the development, maturation and validation of autonomous and multi-vehicle collaboration technologies. It is part of the Boeing Research & Technology-Missouri (BR&T-Missouri) research center at St Louis, Missouri.

The cornerstone of the lab is an 80,000ft3 motion capture system that allows the facility to simultaneously operate multiple unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles. The indoor flying test range contains a high-resolution blended projection system for the development and testing of vision-based technologies, such as image processing algorithms or detection of moving objects in scenery.

The projection system can work in concert with the motion capture system and high-fidelity simulations to support live-virtual testing in realistic simulated scenarios. The facility also includes an enclosed, vented area that enables an around-the-clock reliable test environment and access to Global Positioning System and other signals used for ground testing and static engine runs of small UAVs.

“Autonomy is revolutionizing our world and this lab will be an important part of our mission to deliver solutions across air, land and sea for global customers,” said Kory Mathews, vice president of Autonomous Systems, a division of Boeing Military Aircraft also headquartered in St Louis.

July 8, 2016

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