In a series of videos, Australian robotics company Mission Systems has showcased its mission simulator and AI-based Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) training software slated for integration into the mine countermeasures (MCM) offering of Exail, a contender for the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA1905 project.
Mission Systems co-director David Battle pointed out that the videos are indicative of the realism achievable in their flagship S4 simulator, which has been directly interfaced with the RAN’s existing MINTACS and Exail’s UMISOFT software suite. “Some people don’t get the value of such realism to mission simulation, but to us, it’s all about representing data in a form that’s quickly comprehensible to humans,” he said. “Objects like ships and underwater vehicles need to behave in the correct way as a function of environmental influences such as sea states, currents, tides and so on. Of course, we have other simulation modes where we just want to punch out data very fast for training our AI-based Automatic Target Recognition – but you really need both capabilities in a complete simulation system.”
Looking ahead, the collaboration could extend beyond MCM to other military applications such as military survey and seabed warfare, as well as civil maritime applications.
“We at Mission Systems are delighted to collaborate with Exail and are eager to leverage our cutting-edge real-time mission simulation and accelerated machine learning technologies to enhance the overall performance of Exail’s naval drones, AUVs as well as towed sonars. Our aim is to provide advanced technological solutions to the Australian Navy, as well as to allied navies across the globe,” said Battle.
Daniel Scourzic, MCM Product Line Director at Exail, expressed his delight at integrating Mission Systems technology into their data management system, citing its advanced simulation and machine learning capabilities as key drivers in offering improved performance, faster mission times, and reduced operator workload. “The collaboration with Mission Systems will enhance sonar operators training on various types of contacts and in different types of environments, while also taking into account the underwater vehicles’ behaviours that may affect data and sonar image quality. The benefit of this simulator is to be able to create, within a short timeframe, multiple mine views, from different angles and ranges, and from the simplest to the most complex environments. With this collaboration we are truly speeding up the incrementation of AI-based ATR within operational systems to quickly create hybrid learning databases of real and simulated data.”
Exail has also established technological partnerships with Australian companies UGL, Acacia Systems, Solutions from Silicon (SfS), and Total Marine Technology (TMT), and is in discussion with several Australian tertiary research institutions.