Program Organization

The MAST Consortium is working towards creating systems of diverse autonomous mobility platforms equipped with miniature sensors to quickly, quietly, and reliably explore and find targets in the MAST scenarios. These platforms will exploit size (tradeoffs between payload, minimum exploitable opening, speed, range, and duration), diversity of locomotion (flight and ambulation), multiple units (redundancy, communication network, observation angles), and diversity of sensing (passive and active, local and long range). The vision of the MAST Consortium is that a diverse combination of mobile platforms can perform the MAST scenario search tasks with low cost and high probability of success. As part of diversity, size will be exploited as smaller platforms can more easily and quietly access small spaces and climb obstacles, and cover a larger area using parallel searches.


MCE develops a fundamental understanding of mechanics for small unmanned air and ground vehicles as needed to obtain desired mobility objectives. The aeromechanics discipline focuses on key elements of microsystem flight; the ambulation discipline focuses on key elements of microsystem ground movement.


SPP provides the fundamental underpinning for autonomous operation of distrusted, mobile, multi modal sensing micro-systems. Areas of investigation include control for mobility and situational awareness, distributed sensing and estimation, algorithmic aspects of communication, and architectures for cooperative reconnaissance by a hereogenous set of micro air and ground vehicles.


CNC is concerned with the use of communication for carrying out mission objectives, optimizing the network connectivity amongst the heterogeneous ensemble of robots using the ratio, and coordinating the functions of each robot in the ensemble to enable the functioning of the team and optimize the mission objectives.


The three core research thrusts (MCE, SPP,CNC) address capability gaps at the level of component technologies. The JX thrust serves as a focal point to integrate and evaluate technical capabilities on platforms performing elements of mission-like scenarios, through a set of research tasks that involve collaboration between multiple Centers and between the Consortium and ARL.