Horiba MIRA wins defence partnership challenge

Posted on 06 Dec 2018 and read 723 times
Horiba MIRA wins defence partnership challengeHoriba MIRA — a leader in advanced automotive engineering, research, development and testing — has secured a further £845,000 in funding from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deliver the third phase of its ATLAS Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Autonomy research project.

Horiba MIRA (www.horiba-mira.com) is one of four winners selected through three phases of competition from over 600 entrants.

The MoD funding is being matched by Horiba MIRA investment and will allow the continuing development of ATLAS through a two-year ‘capability proving’ phase of work managed by UK MoD Defence Equipment and Support.

ATLAS is a vision-based ‘navigation, localisation and perception’ technology that enables UGVs to operate effectively in challenging environments, without relying on satellite navigation systems such as GNSS or GPS.

Current autonomous systems rely heavily on satellite navigation, but the signals are vulnerable to interference and blocking or masking by trees and buildings.

With applications in both the military and civil sectors, ATLAS has been developed to ensure that UGVs and Autonomous Vehicles can still operate without relying on external systems, therefore providing a whole new level of autonomy capability to the defence industry.

Andy Maloney, chief engineer for Defence and Unmanned Solutions at Horiba Mira, said: “Winning the final phase of the project means we can bridge the gap between research and actual adoption of the technology through producing advanced prototypes and proving the capability on key MoD platforms.

“The stakeholder support and funding from the Ministry of Defence and Horiba MIRA enables us to maximise future benefits to the UK defence sector and realise the export potential of the technology.”

The technology has been developed using Horiba MIRA’s specialised off-road UGV proving ground. Phase One of the project was completed in September 2016 and provided proof of the initial concept.

Phase Two culminated in prototype demonstration trials on the Brecon Beacons and Salisbury Plain during the summer and autumn of 2017. The system will undergo further development trials at Horiba MIRA and on MoD ranges into next year.

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