Towards a General-Purpose, Replicable, Swarm-Capable Unmanned Aircraft System

Ross Arnold, CCDC Armaments Center
Andrew N. Kopeikin, United States Military Academy
Benjamin Abruzzo, CCDC Armaments Center
Christopher Korpela, United States Military Academy

Abstract

This paper describes an effort to create a general purpose Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) swarm using entirely Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) parts and a reusable swarming software architecture. The software architecture used in this research was originally designed for a UAS warfare competition in 2017 called the Service Academies Swarm Challenge (SASC), hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The SASC software is a multipurpose swarm control software architecture that allows a swarm to be tailored to many different purposes by third-parties. However, the UASs used in the original SASC competition contain custom parts which have begun to deteriorate over years of use. A COTS UAS solution using the SASC swarm architecture is the next step towards expanding the usefulness of the swarm so that it can be deployed, replicated, modified, and generalized to suit many different needs in a variety of sectors to include homeland security and defense.