Roke Manor Research (Roke) will integrate artificial intelligence (AI) software into the maritime combat system demonstrator sponsored by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
The news follows Dstl's third phase investment of £1m for the development of threat detection software to assist the UK Royal Navy in addressing increasing complex threats.
Named Startle, the machine situational awareness software uses a combination of artificial intelligence techniques to continuously monitor and assess potential threats.
Roke will demonstrate Startle by integrating it into the Open Architecture Combat System (OACS), which is a demonstrator developed to exhibit the utility of research ideas in a representative combat system in a realistic environment.
Startle lead software architect Mike Hook said: “Traditional methods of processing data can be inefficient so we have looked at the human brain’s tried and tested means of detecting and assessing threats to help us design a better way to do it.
“The techniques have the potential to benefit the Royal Navy.
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“The first two phases of the project have proven that we have been able to successfully apply these techniques to real data from complex scenarios.
“The clever part comes in the way these potential threats are detected and the way our software redistributes resources to decide if they are real all in the blink of an eye.”
The software is inspired by the way the human brain works, emulating the mammalian conditioned-fear response mechanism. Rapidly detecting and assessing potential threats, the software augments human operator situational awareness in complex environments.
If integrated into existing warship sensor suites, it is expected to assist the Principal Warfare Officer by intelligently processing multiple sources of information, while cueing systems to assess and confirm potential threats.
The software facilitates faster and informed decision-making by the command team, while tackling complex and dynamic mission environments.