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Using Artificial Bias to Assist Pilots in Avoiding Missiles

May 19 @ 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM MDT

Abstract Tactical warfare is the maneuvering within a pre-planned path in a battleground to gain additional advantages while still maintaining focus on the mission. As technology advances, the battleground has been expanded from a 2-dimensional environment on the ground to a more complex 3-dimensional environment in the air and space above the ground. In this scenario, aircrafts are used as vehicles carrying weapons to deliver them to the targets. The war scenario is an ongoing battle: as soon as one side gains an advantage through the use of aircrafts, the other side will also develop and use aircrafts of similar capability to neutralize that advantage; and implement an air defense system to prevent the attacking aircraft to successfully accomplish their mission. In this project, AI technology is used to develop a well-known tactic of avoiding a heat seeking missile into an implementable algorithm that can be deployed by an onboard computer. The tactic, while well known, has a limitation due to the onboard instrumentation that does not tell the pilot, through visualization, the exact position and velocity of an incoming missile even though sensors already had this complete information. Thus, the algorithm provides an additional advantage of visualizing exactly the positions and velocities of the aircraft under attack and the incoming missile so that artificial bias can be calculated and implemented to push the aircraft out of the path of the missile to avoid the collision. Computer simulations showed the effectiveness of the algorithm, even in scenarios where more than one missile is used in an attack. However, the human in the loop (pilots), while recognizing the effectiveness, still prefer manual control because it is their life on the line and they understandably want to manage it with the skills that they already acquired through rigorous training. The discussion of the results will examine a scheme known as augmented intelligence where the AI algorithm still allows the pilot the complete control of the aircraft and only activates the additional bias at the last moment of an imminent collision. This co-existence between human and machine can gain easier acceptance while increasing the effectiveness of avoiding missiles. However, as mentioned earlier, as soon as one side gains some tactical advantages, the other side will seek to neutralize this advantage. Thus, this project also examines the use of swarm intelligence to coordinate many missiles to attack an aircraft, aiming the missiles at an envelope of attack instead of directly at the aircraft, allowing the aircraft to maneuver only within the envelope while this envelope gradually shrinks to the eventual point of collision. Understanding this coordination will provide insights to improve the missile avoidance beyond the current tactics in the future. Speaker(s): Dr. Trung T. Pham, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/313620

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