Unmanned Systems News 28/2/2013

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Carnegie Mellon Wins DARPA Grant to Protect UGVs From Cyber Attacks

By Danielle Lucey

Carnegie Mellon has won a $6 million, four-and-a-half-year grant from DARPA to develop software that would help prevent cyber security attacks against unmanned ground vehicles, as a part of the agency’s High-Assurance Cyber Military System program launched last year. 

“This is an extremely challenging project as we work to develop secure robotic systems that are resilient to cyber attacks,” says Franz Franchetti, an associate research professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who won the grant.

Franchetti’s team is approaching the challenge by using virtual high-assurance sensors and autonomous software systems that will aid computers in determining if they are being attacked. His work will also tackle computer problem solving during GPS disruptions to consumer systems, like high-end cars that use computer systems to aid drivers.

“Gauging an appropriate response to any of these cyber threats is daunting, but we have the innovative talent and research expertise to begin developing some long-range solutions,” says Ed Schlesinger, the Edward Schramm Memorial Professor of Engineering and head of the top-ranked Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at CMU.

According to DARPA, the HACMS program’s work will also apply to UAVs and UUVs, as well as weapons systems, satellites, and command and control devices.