The U.S. Army has been developing unmanned logistics solutions for years to reduce the risks faced by troops deployed in convoys in the area of operations. The final step is to deploy robotic vehicles that other vehicles can refuel.
This line includes the development of Automous Ground Vehicle Refueling (AGVR), an automatic refueling system that is mounted on a container or truck and can take over the refueling of other manned or even robotic vehicles.
The American company Stratom develops several fueling systems for land vehicles, but also for airplanes and helicopters. The aim is to develop automated systems that allow the use of troops in more important tasks and not in logistics, which also involves risks, both because of the danger of the task and because the fuel supply lines are one of the main targets of the enemy in the operations. War zones.
Stratom’s technology relies on the use of a robotic arm and a series of sensors that allow the system to locate the fuel tank, open the lid, add the fuel and close it automatically without the need for human intervention. For this reason, the Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) and in particular the Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC) have been developing this type of skills for years as part of the Automous Ground Resupply (AGR) or Resupply program. Autonomous on Earth.
The GVSC has now commissioned Stratom to develop a prototype based on the company’s AGVR technology that can be mounted on a Palletized Load System or PLS container transporter. In this way, the refueling system can easily be mounted and dismantled on one of these trucks and operated from this or from the ground as a separate module. The module will contain the aforementioned retractable robotic arm, fuel tank, electrical generator, sensors and a computer that will manage everything. The demonstrations are scheduled to begin next fall. (Jos M Navarro Garca)
Photo: The AGVR arm refueling a truck (Stratom)
Stratom works on a robotic tank system for helicopters (Stratom)
Detail of the helicopter refueling system (Stratom)
PLS trucks in a logistics convoy (US Army)
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