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High-Performance Computing for the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle

  • Magazine Article
  • 18AERP09_05
Published September 01, 2018 by SAE International in United States
  • English

The development of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) will require technological advancements in many areas, including lethality, protection, autonomy, human-agent teaming, and electromagnetic capabilities. What ties all of these future capabilities together is the need for vast computational resources to support the artificial intelligence (AI) implicit in bringing these advancements to the battlefield. The operating environment of the NGCV will be such that communications will be severely limited, if available at all; systems will be under constant cyber-attack; and adversarial AI may be actively attempting to deceive all sensors - all occurring under severe size, weight, power, and time-available constraints. These factors, and more, are the motivation for developing a strategy of mobile High-Performance Computing (HPC) for the NGCV.

Future military vehicles will require capabilities beyond autonomous maneuverability, including intelligence analytics and situational understanding, to achieve autonomous operation. Military vehicles must maneuver over and around obstructions, predict and react to various soil conditions, and operate with and adapt to damage well beyond the demands of commercial vehicles. With ever-increasing computational and communications resources placed on vehicles, there is attendant heat generation/rejection and radio frequency (RF) emission. Signature management, at least for infrared and RF, needs to be a consideration from the outset, rather than an issue to be resolved after the fact.