The MAST CTA is a consortium of research organizations sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL) to conduct basic research to enable autonomous mobility and reconnaissance for unmanned air and ground vehicles roughly in the size class of 0.5 kg and smaller. The consortium is led by BAE Systems; other participants include the University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of California Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, University of New Mexico, University of Washington, University of Delaware, and JPL. The program is structured into four Technical Centers addressing Microsystem Mechanics, Processing for Autonomy, Microelectronics, and Integration.
JPL participates in several areas, including sensors and perception for autonomous navigation of air and ground vehicles. JPL currently provides the Chief Technologist for this program. A recent technical achievement in the program is the first demonstration of autonomous, vision-guided navigation of a micro air vehicle (quadrotor) to land on a lab-scale mock-up of a rooftop; this is aimed at enabling perch and stare surveillance missions for such aircraft.
Larry Matthies - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Army Research Laboratory