SSCI Appoints Dr. Owen Brown as Vice President of Research and Development

January 25, 2017 by  

WOBURN, Mass., Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Scientific Systems Company, Inc., an industry leader and pioneer in advanced intelligent and autonomous systems, announced today that Dr. Owen Brown has joined the company as Vice President of Research and Development. He will be responsible for the strategic development, implementation, and oversight of all new programs in autonomy, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision, advanced GNC, and data science. He will be responsible for operations in the National Capital Region. Dr. Brown brings a background of proven leadership, program management excellence, game-changing innovation, and operational military experience.

As a former Program Manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Brown developed, and managed radically innovative and highly successful space systems for national defense. His fractionation concept of autonomous and distributed networks of space systems, which led to DARPA’s System F6 program, has influenced future space architectures worldwide. His leadership in a fast paced multiple spacecraft demonstration program has had a lasting impact on the nation’s space operations. In addition, he led the SPHERES formation flying experiment initiative, which is based in the International Space Station. After his DARPA tour, Dr. Brown served as the Chief Technology Officer for KTSi and, after sale of the company, transitioned to provide technology and policy leadership for SAIC. Recently he completed service as a member of the Space Defense and Protection committee for the National Academies of Science. He is a former nuclear submarine officer with operational experience on fast attack submarines. Brown retired from the US Navy Reserve after providing operational support for P-3 anti-submarine aircraft and then acquisition support as an Engineering Duty Officer. He holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University.

“Owen brings a proven track record of creating disruptive technical concepts, managing their development, and delivering them to the warfighter, scientist, and other customers,” said Scientific Systems CEO Dr. Raman Mehra. “We welcome him to the Scientific Systems team at an exciting time, when our company’s portfolio of capabilities in autonomy and intelligent distributed systems is enabling the Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, and other government customers not only keep pace with the rapid pace of technological change, but to be the creators of that change.”

“Scientific Systems is leading the way in the development of the core autonomous and intelligent system technologies that are becoming the enabling foundation for national defense and intelligence systems, scientific exploration, and civil agency support,” said Brown. “In the commercial world, these technologies will revolutionize the way each person goes about their daily lives.  I’m very excited to part of an incredibly capable team of scientists and engineers who are dedicated to their work.”

About Scientific Systems Company Inc.
Since 1976 Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) has been developing the brains and nervous system for manned and unmanned vehicles to operate autonomously and accomplish their missions in difficult environments for defense and commercial applications. Based in Woburn, MA, SSCI is a leading innovator in performing research and technology development for various NASA and US DoD agencies. SSCI is a provider of intelligent and autonomous software systems for land, sea, air, and space systems, GPS-denied navigation systems, fusion, tracking and sensor management technologies, collaborative and adversarial autonomy, mission planning systems, and a variety of revolutionary signal processing systems. For more information, visit www.ssci.com or contact SSCI at (781) 933-5355 or info@ssci.com.

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The Economist magazine highlights SSCI’s GPS-denied navigation solution, ImageNav

December 6, 2016 by  

Please click on the following link to read an article that was published in the Economist magazine that highlights SSCI’s ImageNav solution as part of a new generation of GPS-denied weapon systems.

SSCI is developing algorithms for swarming UAVs to counter anti-access/area denial environments

December 6, 2016 by  

Please click on the following link to see an article about Swarms that refers to the CODE Phase II program, for which SSCI is is developing algorithms for swarming UAVs to counter anti-access/area denial environments.

 

 

DARPA project takes flight in Medfield

November 28, 2016 by  

darpa-medfield

By Stephen Press
Hometown Weekly Staff

When one hears the words “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency” (DARPA) and “military research,” one’s thoughts typically start revolving around the exotic, the clandestine, the fantastical. Neutron bombs exploding over desolate salt flats. Laser-wielding cyborgs running through specially-designed obstacle courses. Cold fusion engines powering aircraft as they take off from Area 51.

For his part, Hector Escobar, Senior Research Engineer at SSCI, could only smile. “The way we see it is that it’s more than that,” he said as a quadcopter drone took off nearby. Escobar had come to the Medfield State Hospital with Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) to test an autonomous drone as part of a DARPA program. “More than the military,” Escobar continued, “it’s for so many different applications. It feels good to know that we could actually make some progress in technology, not only thinking about military applications, but in general.”

“SSCI’s Rapid Adaptive preDiction for Vision-based Autonomous Navigation and Evasion program (Rapid ADVANCE) is based on a fundamentally new approach to reactive navigation, resulting in very low size, weight, and power requirements for use on small UAVs,” reads a press release from SSCI.com, Scientific Systems Company’s website. “Under the direction of Dr. N. Andrew Browning, the SSCI project is part of DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. The aim of this program is to develop and demonstrate the capability for small and fast (20 m/s) UAVs to fly autonomously through complex, cluttered environments.”

Simplified?

“What we basically want to do is have these drones fly autonomously in urban environments like this one. What a perfect environment, like an abandoned city, that we have here,” said Escobar, motioning at the terrain around him. “That’s why we’re actually using the Medfield State Hospital – so we can have actual buildings, actual roads, actual trees. We’re testing our algorithms here.

“The idea is that we have a start point and we have an end goal. We try to fly to it and back, and all autonomously.

“DARPA’s going to provide us a file that says ‘your target is five minutes this way and ten minutes this way,’ and that’s all we know. So then we have to traverse whatever environment they gave us and fly through it. That’s pretty much all we know – where we are and where is our end goal.”

In a nutshell, SSCI is developing a drone that can fly, completely on its own, to and from a given point, avoiding all obstacles on its way.

Oh yeah, and it can’t use GPS.

“The cool thing about this project is that it’s without GPS,” added Escobar. “We’re not using any GPS to navigate, so we’re doing everything visually using several algorithms that we developed.”

It also cannot map the terrain – all of the drone’s processing must be done on the fly.

“The idea of this program is also that it cannot use what is called SLAM, which is simultaneous localization and mapping,” said Escobar. “Most of the drones out there, the research in the universities, they’re doing basically a map. They start creating a map, so by the end of the run, they have a map of all the area.” Nearby, one of SSCI’s drones beeped – not unlike R2-D2 – as it prepared for an autonomous launch.

“We have shorter memory,” said Escobar. “We know where we are and where we’re going, and we can fly, avoiding all the obstacles. But on our way back, we’ll have to avoid them again because we are not [making a map]. That’s to make our algorithms faster and more cost-effective.”

Escobar excused himself to speak with his SSCI team – a crew of six men who had come out to test the fruits of their hours of coding. Grabbing one of the drones, they carried it to a nearby spot for its next run. A few moments later, the craft floated into the air, a pilot standing nearby only in case of emergency. The drone headed skywards, then made a bee-line for a distant spot on the State Hospital grounds. This was a live test, and it seemed to be going swimmingly as the drone’s programmers watched on proudly.

“It is very rewarding, I would say,” concluded Escobar “to see that you programmed something and then you can come out and try it.”

SSCI announces the award of two SBIR Phase III contracts for (1) advanced navigation common capability (ANCC) development, and (2) advanced navigation technology demonstration on the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Increment I.

January 15, 2016 by  

For Immediate Release – January 13, 2016

Scientific Systems Co. Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts, has been awarded an $11,565,001 cost-plus-fixed-fee Small Business Innovation Research III contract for an advanced navigation system technology demonstration on Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Increment I. Contractor will flight test, demonstrate, and evaluate the technology readiness of an ImageNav-SDB advanced navigation system using the SDB Increment I. Work will be performed at Woburn, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by Jan. 13, 2018. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2015 and 2016 research and development funds in the amount of $11,565,001 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, Rapid Acquisition Cell, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8656-16-C-0094).

http://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/642983

 

For Immediate Release – September 16, 2015

Scientific Systems Co. Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $6,600,242 firm-fixed-price Small Business Innovation Research III contract for advanced navigation common capability (ANCC). Contractor will expand upon ANCC previous work by generalizing the process of integrating the technology into weapon systems. Work will be performed at Woburn, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by Sept. 14, 2017. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $6,600,242 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8656-15-C-0124).

http://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/617474

 

 

SSCI announces the award of NASA contracts for the development of flexible-wing controls, sense-and-avoid analysis tools and automated rendezvous and docking.

November 16, 2015 by  

For Immediate Release – November 16, 2015

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. announces the recent award of multiple NASA advanced technology development programs in flexible-wing controls for drag minimization, sense-and-avoid analysis tools and automated rendezvous and docking.

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) announces it has been awarded new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for development and testing of advanced aerospace controls and unmanned aerial vehicle systems capabilities. Under the DIRECT (Drag Identification & Reduction Technology) program, SSCI is developing a performance-seeking control strategy for drag minimization for aircraft with flexible wings and innovative flight control surfaces. The approach will be tested in 2016 in a wind tunnel at the University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory.

Under the ASPECT (Automated System-level Performance Evaluation & Characterization Tool) program, SSCI is developing a versatile tool under which Sense and Avoid (SAA) systems can be effectively tested under realistic conditions encountered in the NAS. The tool consists of fast-time simulation employing a model of typical NAS encounters, sensor fusion module fusing the visual and radar information in the absence of ADS-B, threat assessment module, and collision avoidance module. The tool can also be used to develop component and system-level requirements for SAA systems.

Under the GUARD (Generalized gUidance, Navigation & Control Architecture for Reusable Development) program, SSCI in collaboration with University of Washington, is developing reusable GNC software for diverse close proximity operation scenarios. Applications include autonomous rendezvous and docking for low-earth orbiting spacecraft; rover docking with a planetary habitat; and UAV performing a precise lifting operation. The docking application will be hardware tested at Olin College, while the flight tests for the UAV application will be carried out at University of Washington.

Dr. Raman Mehra, founder and CEO of SSCI notes “Our products provide the brains and nervous systems for unmanned vehicles to operate autonomously and accomplish their missions in difficult environments.” These NASA programs are examples of SSCI’s focus on developing advanced aerospace and autonomy technologies to support hazardous and challenging missions.

About Scientific Systems Company Inc.

Since 1976 Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) has engineered intelligent control systems for defense and commercial applications. SSCI is a leading innovator performing research and technology development for various NASA and US DoD agencies. SSCI is a provider of mission planning software, image-based navigation systems for GPS-denied operations, unmanned system’s autonomy, and developer of mine detection systems for the U.S. Army. For more information, contact SSCI at (781) 933-5355 or info@ssci.com.

SSCI, MIT and Olin College demonstrate autonomous aerial monitoring and tracking capability for forest fires using multiple unmanned, aerial vehicles (UAVs)

October 26, 2015 by  

For Immediate Release – September 25, 2015

An industry-university team, comprising Scientific Systems Company, Inc., MIT and Olin College, demonstrates autonomous aerial monitoring and tracking capability for forest fires using multiple unmanned, aerial vehicles (UAVs)

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) announces it has performed initial flight tests and demonstration of autonomous, multi-UAV aerial monitoring and tracking technologies, designed for real-time, aerial fire perimeter surveillance. Wildfire monitoring and management is a high-stress activity in which appropriate and timely decisions need to be made by the fire commander. Besides wind intensity and direction, terrain and vegetation, the key information needed for successful wildfire management is the fire location, its extent and rate of spread. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have great potential to facilitate fire monitoring by providing that information to the fire commander in real time.

IMPACTSSCI is leading an industry-university team to develop IMPACT  – Integrated Mission Planning and Autonomous Control Technology – which provides real-time information to the fire commander in wildfire fighting scenarios using autonomous collaborating UAVs. Under a NASA Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, the SSCI Team, with partners Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) and Olin College (Needham, MA), has developed ground station planning and control software, as well as onboard autonomy software for fully-coordinated multiple UAVs. SSCI and MIT have developed exciting new technologies to make this possible including: machine learning for prediction of the fire spread rate and autonomous collaborative algorithms for multi-UAV coordination, search, geo-location, closed-loop surveillance, and real-time fire perimeter tracking under contingencies.  Together, these technologies enable a single user to coordinate multiple UAVs to survey and maintain knowledge of the ever changing fire perimeter.  Olin College is providing the flight testing environment to validate these concepts.

Dr. Raman Mehra, founder and CEO of SSCI notes “Our products provide the brains and nervous systems for unmanned vehicles to operate autonomously and accomplish their missions in difficult environments.” The IMPACT system is a prime example of SSCI’s focus on developing UAV autonomy technologies to support hazardous and challenging missions.

About Scientific Systems Company Inc.

Since 1976 Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) has engineered intelligent control systems for defense and commercial applications. SSCI is a leading innovator performing research and technology development for various NASA and US DoD agencies. SSCI is a provider of advanced mission planning software, mature image-based navigation systems for GPS-denied environments on a wide variety of platforms, and developer of mine detection systems for the U.S. Army. For more information, contact SSCI at (781) 933-5355 or info@ssci.com.

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. Awarded Contract from DARPA for Development of Fast Lightweight Autonomy for UAVs

October 26, 2015 by  

For Immediate Release – September 25, 2015

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. Awarded Contract from DARPA for Development of Fast Lightweight Autonomy for UAVs

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) announces it has been awarded a contract from the Defense Applied Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop autonomous visual control systems for small unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) operating in cluttered outdoor and indoor environments without GPS or human operator assistance.

DARPA-FLA-MissionGraphic

SSCI’s Rapid Adaptive preDiction for Vision-based Autonomous Navigation and Evasion program (Rapid ADVANCE) is based on a fundamentally new approach to reactive navigation, resulting in very low size, weight, and power requirements for use on small UAVs. Under the direction of Dr. N. Andrew Browning, the SSCI project is part of DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. The aim of this program is to develop and demonstrate the capability for small and fast (20 m/s) UAVs to fly autonomously through complex, cluttered environments. DARPA selected SSCI and two other teams to develop advanced autonomy software – specifically focusing on sensing, perception, planning, and control using commercially available components. The UAV platform is the same for all teams, putting emphasis on comparative performance of the sensing and control systems.

Dr. Raman Mehra, founder and CEO of SSCI notes “Our products provide the brains and nervous systems for unmanned vehicles to operate autonomously and accomplish their missions in difficult environments.” The Rapid ADVANCE project is a prime example of SSCI development capabilities. SSCI selected AeroVironment as a teaming partner for this two-year program, bringing AeroVironment’s capabilities in small UAV flight dynamics and control. Algorithms developed under this program impact a wide range of unmanned systems by reducing the size, weight, and power requirements of the autonomy system, eliminating remote control wireless links, and navigating through unknown, complex, cluttered environments without GPS.

About Scientific Systems Company, Inc.

Since 1976 Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) has engineered intelligent control systems for defense and commercial applications. SSCI is a leading innovator performing research and technology development for various DoD agencies. SSCI is a provider of advanced mission planning software, mature image-based navigation systems for GPS-denied environments on a wide variety of platforms, and developer of mine detection systems for the U.S. Army. For more information, contact (781) 933-5355 or info@ssci.com.

Reference: DARPA FLA Press Release

SSCI Awarded Contract from NAVAIR for Integration and Test of Autonomous Shipboard-Landing Optical System for Fire Scout MQ-8

October 26, 2015 by  

For Immediate Release – September 25, 2015

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. Awarded Contract from NAVAIR for Integration and Test of Autonomous Shipboard-Landing Optical System for Fire Scout MQ-8 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) has been awarded a NAVAIR contract to integrate and test an onboard, fully-autonomous, optically-based relative navigation system designed for integration into the US Navy’s MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter (VT-UAV) shipboard auto-landing system.

INAV-SL-3

SSCI’s Image-based Relative Navigation for Shipboard Landing (ImageNav-SL) uses passive, optical (EO/IR) sensors to detect and analyze existing ship deck markings and provide Deck-Relative Navigation measurements. ImageNav-SL is designed to use low-power/low-weight, commercial cameras to meet MQ-8 accuracy requirements in visibility conditions similar to those required for manned helicopter operations. It requires no additional shipboard modifications or additional equipment. ImageNav-SL technology has been successfully flight-tested using manned R-22 and unmanned Maverick VT-UAV aircraft. Under this NAVAIR contract, ImageNav-SL technology will be integrated onto representative MQ-8 equipment, and flight-tested in at-sea trials to demonstrate shipboard landing capability.

Dr. Raman Mehra, founder and CEO of SSCI notes “Our products provide the brains and nervous systems for unmanned vehicles to operate autonomously and accomplish their missions in difficult environments.” ImageNav-SL is a prime example of SSCI’s development of advanced capabilities for unmanned systems. Technology developed under this program is applicable to a wide range of unmanned systems by providing an autonomous landing capability without GPS or ground-based RF navigation aids.

About Scientific Systems Company, Inc.

Since 1976 Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) has engineered intelligent control systems for defense and commercial applications. SSCI is a leading innovator performing research and technology development for various DoD agencies. SSCI is a provider of advanced mission planning software, mature image-based navigation systems for GPS-denied environments on a wide variety of platforms, and developer of mine detection systems for the U.S. Army. For more information, contact (781) 933-5355 or info@ssci.com.

NAVAIR Public Release 2014-335 – Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited.

 

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) Receives DARPA XDATA contract to research new Machine Learning & Big Data Technologies

November 15, 2012 by  

Press Release Template

 

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) Receives DARPA XDATA contract to research new Machine Learning & Big Data Technologies

 

[Dateline]—SSCI, a leading developer and provider of Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, AI & Intelligent Autonomy technologies, today announced receiving research funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop new and advanced Machine Learning software based on Automated Bayesian Cross-Categorization (ABC) family of algorithms for heterogeneous structured and unstructured databases.  This contract is part of DARPA’s XDATA program, a 4-year research effort to develop new computational techniques and open source software tools for processing and analyzing data, motivated by defense needs.  SSCI has been selected by DARPA as a performer in the technical area of scalable analytics and data processing technology.  The contract is administered by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, NY.

Dr. Raman K. Mehra, CEO of SSCI remarked, “We are very excited and proud to be part of the DARPA’s XDATA program and look forward to collaborating with other awardees and developing open-source software for advanced Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics and Predictive Statistical Inference”.

SSCI’s team consists of senior researchers from MIT, U. of Louisville, and Prior Knowledge Inc.

Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) pioneers products and technologies that provide the intelligence for unmanned ground, air and maritime vehicles to autonomously and collaboratively accomplish missions in difficult environments.  Our technologies are currently at work in the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program and numerous other U.S. Department of Defense systems.

For more information on DARPA and the XDATA program, visit www.darpa.mil.

 

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