QUANTUM SIGNAL LLC
Quantum Signal (QS) is an engineering research and development company focused on building new, innovative solutions and products. With a heavy emphasis on mobile robotics systems, sensing and perception, and real-time simulation, QS specializes in the development of robust algorithms, highly functional software, customized hardware, and complete end-to-end products and systems that address unique and difficult challenges. QS has supported a wide variety of customers in the US Government (US Army, DHS, DoE, DoT, ...) and industry (Raytheon, Harris, Ford, OSRAM, Raytheon, Sony, Amway, …), and innovates in its unique headquarters – a historic high school located in Saline, Michigan.
Product and Services
Quantum Signal is the creator of the Autonomous Navigation Virtual Environment Laboratory (ANVEL). ANVEL is a real-time, interactive modeling and simulation software tool for use in development, testing, validation, and verification of “intelligent” ground vehicles. ANVEL, which was initially developed for US Army ERDC to provide front and back end capabilities to HPC-based simulations of vehicle mobility, has evolved into a flexible, multi-fidelic, desktop tool that serves as a “virtual proving ground” for autonomous and augmentive vehicle technologies. As the requirements and demand for intelligent ground vehicles have increased, so too has the need for M&S capability to support this growth. ANVEL is being used to address areas such as:
• Exploration of concept of operation (CONOPS) for systems with different configurations operating in a variety of environments. Facilitating interactive exploration of CONOPS helps developers define and distill requirements against which the system should be developed.
• Exploration, testing, and debugging of autonomy and related algorithms, including path planning, obstacle detection and avoidance, discrete behaviors, and similar.
• Exploration of multi-vehicle/convoy systems.
• Exploration, prototyping, and refinement of user interfaces. ANVEL has been used to act as the virtual UGV while different designs for OCUs and user interfaces are tested with human operators.
• Development of hardware in the loop (HIL) and software in the loop (SIL) systems. QS, the Army, and others are using ANVEL to provide real-time virtual components that are connected to real world components in various mixtures so software and algorithm systems and subsystems can be tested out prior to deployment on live platforms.
• Testing and characterization of performance. This includes running large scale, repeated testing of algorithms or software components while varying parameters within the simulation and generating outputs that can be further analyzed and leveraged.
The list above represents a subset of the types of challenges ANVEL can and has been used to address. ANVEL can be used to support the development process throughout almost the entire systems engineering cycle, and opens up new possibilities in terms of formalized, systemic testing, characterization, and validation of performance.