Design and Evaluation of a Mobile Instrumentation Platform for Unmanned Vehicle Testing
Unmanned vehicle systems are becoming more important in the future of the military and in commercial applications. These systems are used to prevent humans from entering dangerous situations or to automate dull tasks. In order to facilitate rapid development of these systems, testing procedures and infrastructure need to be created. Once developed, the performance characteristics of unmanned vehicle systems can be determined and compared to similar systems. This information will be beneficial to system developers and potential customers.
In order to provide the infrastructure and test procedures to the unmanned systems community, the Joint Robotics Program created the National Unmanned Systems Experimentation Environment (NUSE2). NUSE2 consists of a variety of military organizations and academic resources, including the Joint Unmanned Systems Test Experimentation and Research (JOUSTER) site at Virginia Tech. JOUSTER was tasked specifically with creating a mobile instrumentation platform capable of providing wireless communications, data collection, and video coverage of a testing site.
This thesis presents the system designed and created to meet this need. For the first time, a mobile instrumentation platform has been created to specifically support unmanned systems research. Additionally, the performance characteristics of this system have been fully evaluated and will serve as a benchmark for future improvements to the system.