SMSS Squad Mission Support System Unmanned ground vehicle
SMSS (Squad Mission Support System) is an autonomous unmanned ground
vehicle designed and manufactured by the American Defence Company Lockheed
Martin. The SMSS was initially developed as a Lockheed Martin initiative
to lighten the load for light infantry Soldiers and Marines. SMSS was
first developed in 2005 to support a TARDEC contract. The first versions
possessed primitive waypoint following, had no navigation sensors and
required a human operator onboard for safety purposes. Over time, successive
SMSS variants eliminated the need for a human onboard and now feature
enhanced capabilities for autonomous navigation, behaviors and obstacle
avoidance without direct remote control. SMSS is also being evaluated
for firefighting, first responder, power generation and logistic duties
that can take advantage of its ever growing autonomous capabilities.
The robotic capabilities and autonomy utilized on SMSS are also applicable
to a much broader range of robotic applications, missions and vehicles.
In June 2010, Lockheed Martin proved in a series of demonstration tests
that its Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) vehicle can perform detailed
logistics tasks without human control. The testing was conducted at
the Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton, CO, for several military
attendees. In October 2010, Lockheed Martin’s Squad Mission Support
System (SMSS™) autonomous vehicle will demonstrate its rugged
maneuverability while meeting Soldiers’ needs to recharge batteries
in Portable Power Excursion (PPE) tests next month at Fort Riley, KS.
In July 2011, the SMSS is selected by U.S. Army to be deployed to Afghanistan
for a first-of-its-kind military assessment. SMSS will deploy as the
winner of the Project Workhorse Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) competition
sponsored by the Army.
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