Board of Regents approves establishment of Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems

September 18, 2014
| By: Aubrey Bloom

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents recently approved the establishment of the Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems (CANVASS). The center, which was established in response to the ubiquitous future of unmanned autonomous systems, will be part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

CANVASS will enable interdisciplinary research to solve issues of significant importance to Texas and the United States including: 

  • Networked Operations, Health Adaptive Mission Management, and On-Board Decision Making in Complex GPS-Denied Outdoor Environments,
  • Navigation in Global Navigation Satellite System Denied Environments,
  • Operations in space
  • Field-Based and Large-Scale Human-Machine Interactions, and
  • Agricultural Cyber-Physical Systems.

The mission of CANVASS is to unify research and development of autonomous vehicles and systems for the purpose of better serving our state and country. Research by CANVASS will follow a progression from basic research at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 1 (basic technology research) to TRL 7 (technology demonstration).

CANVASS will initially be composed of researchers from 18 laboratories throughout TEES aligned within three technology areas — integrated, autonomous systems; sensors, information and controls; and test and evaluation. CANVASS will connect the relevant research talents from these labs to develop multidisciplinary teams that pursue large, integrative research projects.

In addition, CANVASS will develop a new test site and demonstration capability, the Riverside Range. The 900-acre Riverside Range will make TEES one of only a handful of major university systems worldwide with a large-scale instrumented outdoors laboratory located on campus. CANVASS complements the Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence and Innovation, a joint Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and TEES center, by focusing basic research and testing for all types of unmanned systems (air, land and water).

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