Initial trials

The trial will demonstrate how well Northstar works with a suite of tools, such as DCE’s Marionette™ system (a universal control system) used on the X3, to enable a vehicle to operate as we want it to – without human intervention.

It will also show how it can continue to safely navigate an unmanned vehicle in real-time without a GPS signal. This is critical to mission success when operating in remote or challenging environments as GPS is often weak at best, needing direct an line-of-sight communication with GPS satellites to work.

The initial trial has already seen Northstar enable the X3 to plot a course across land the size of a football field and reach an end point without mishap or human intervention.

In achieving this, Northstar showed that it understood what was happening around the X3, using its sensors to ‘sniff out’ its environment and check this against pre-recorded GPS and other available data and maps.