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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Capstone Design Projects

SWAT-C: Autonomous Weapon System

Faculty Advisors: CDR Chris Wolfgeher, USN; LCDR Brian Schaus, USN; Capt. Justin Bracchi, USMC

Objectives: The objective of this project is to improve the system so that it can be set into different modes, including fully autonomous tracking and engagement (autonomous), autonomous tracking with manual engagement (semi-autonomous), and remote operation (manual). Ultimately, the weapon system should be easily reproducible so that it can be networked for interoperability with an infantry squad.

Results: The turret that was created is capable of manuall, semi autonomous, and autonomous control. The system is also capable of remote control using a team phone using team Doodle Radio assets. Overall the turret had the components necessary to function but unfortunately due to a last minute incident prevented it’s full completion. Nevertheless, the results have proven the concept is more than feasible with a little more time and monetary investment.


RF Source Localization

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Coxson    Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Dr. Ngo          Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Background:  The purpose is to help the SWAT-C team gain an edge on Army in their annual competition by utilizing RF Source Localization in order to detect and locate enemy radio transmissions in the area of operation. This would provide the SWAT-C team with a significant competitive advantage on the battlefield.

Objectives:. Design, test, assess, and build  a passive RF Software Defined Radio capable of detecting and localization  to a RF emitter. 

Results:  The design produced is less accurate and compact than desired, however it meets the time to set up and localize and meets our requirements for detection range, mass and temperature range.


Compact Robotic Ordnance (CRO)

Faculty Advisors
CDR Wolfgeher   Electrical and Computer Engineering
LCDR Schaus   Electrical and Computer Engineering
Capt Bracci   Electrical and Computer Engineering
ENS Lee   Robotics and Control Engineering

Background: Squads With Autonomous Teammates - Challenge (SWAT-C) is a research program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in order to develop new tactics and ways to implement Unmanned Systems (UXS) into Infantry Squads, of both the Army and the Marine Corps. This is executed by pitting West Point Cadets and Naval Academy Midshipmen against one another in simulated combat environments armed with these assets. The USNA SWAT-C team’s operators have expressed that they require a way to retaliate under suppressing fire. When an operator is unable to gain line of sight with an adversary, grenades are ineffective. The Compact Robotic Ordnance (CRO) seeks to provide a solution to this problem by offering fire and forget capabilities to ordnance that is organic to an infantry squad.

Objectives: The goal of this project is to design a hand carried, compact, autonomous munition capable of locating, closing with, and destroying an enemy through tactical employment in a simulated combat environment 

Results: To this end, the CRO Team interviewed two customers, MIDN Morton and MIDN Hoffman, both from the U.S. Naval Academy, and worked with them to develop a list of customer requirements that includes the cost of the system, the ability to operate autonomously, the ability to be easily deployed in a short amount of time, and the ability to be man-portable and launchable.  

The team has brainstormed potential ways to complete our project, in areas to include overall shape, necessary battery power output, and how to tackle the requirement of target recognition. The team has also looked into products available off the shelf that would be readily usable for our project. 


Autonomous Modular Unmanned Ground Vehicle

Faculty Advisors
LCDR. B. Schaus, USN, Electrical and Computer Engineering 
CDR C. Wolfgeher, USN, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Capt. J. Bracci, USMC, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Background: Researchers are interested in figuring out ways to reduce the burden of marching on infantry troops so that they are freed to take care of other tactical responsibilities which may require maneuverability. Fatigue as a result of carrying large amounts of weight on their backs is an issue that impairs the judgment, morale, and physical readiness of our infantry troops. Traditional solutions to this problem include pack animals such as horses, donkeys, and other regional animals which come with too many problems to be usable in a combat environment. Recent advancements in autonomous technology has enabled the use of autonomous robot systems to try and replace the functionality of pack animals while being less of a burden. However, these systems have struggled in developing precise methods of traveling from one place to another in a woodland environment. This is an ability that the Office of Naval Research is seeking to improve by funding this capstone project.

Objectives: The goal of this project is to design and build an autonomous system which will have a remote control option, a buddy follow option, and an autonomous waypoint option all while carrying weight for infantry troops over woodland terrain.


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