Incorporating unmanned autonomous systems into mission planning expands mission parameters and tactical sphere while decreasing the risk to human and technological assets in uncertain or hostile environments. Coupling human intelligence with artificial intelligence (AI) in planning and decision-making processes, MUM-T helps ensure accuracy, operational flexibility, and continuity of machine learning.

The U.S. defense sector is highly involved in the development and deployment of MUM-T for its potential to increase capacity and responsiveness, broaden capabilities, and reduce risk to military personnel as it supports mission success. MUM-T is seen as a powerful option for the U.S. Armed Forces and has been used operationally. The U.S. Army Aviation Centre (USA ACE) defines MUM-T as “the synchronized employment of soldier, manned and unmanned air and ground vehicles, robotics, and sensors to achieve enhanced situational understanding, greater lethality, and improved survivability.”

For example, MUM-T can help integrate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with a fleet of manned aircraft. The standard system architecture for UAV/Manned Teaming involves the use of a manned teammate either in an aircraft or on the ground. Each has its ways of communicating wirelessly with the unmanned aircraft, while the UAVs also efficiently share data across all platforms and solve complex tactical problems at machine speed, drawing minimal power, and bandwidth. MUM-T lets the manned platforms connect with UAVs at different Levels of Interoperability (LOI), enhancing situational awareness, decision making, and mission effectiveness by allowing both manned aircraft and ground forces to share the products and capabilities of the UAVs.

What makes Manned-Unmanned teaming work?

The core technology making MUM-T a dependable and viable force are autonomous systems that leverage AI-based navigation solutions. Multi-platform autonomy is a game-changing force multiplier for military troops and their civilian counterparts in the MUM-T scenario, requiring more autonomy-enabled teams of manned systems (such as ground vehicles) working and integrating practices with unmanned ones, like UAVs or satellites. Synergies this powerful have not evolved before because they are technologically complex, and they can span across multiple heterogeneous platforms and domains. However, the combination of advances in autonomous technologies with a new willingness for those who use it – technologists, engineers, and military personnel – to integrate their ways of thinking and their various knowledge resources are allowing a way forward, realizing broader MUM-T implementation.

Does MUM-T have civilian applications?

Existing military infrastructures within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), coupled with the benefit of increasing battlefield capabilities, have resulted in solid growth in developing Manned-Unmanned Teaming frameworks. However, MUM-T also has significant applications in the civilian world, particularly in firefighting, search and rescue operations, hazmat incidents, and law enforcement. Recent progress in the development of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) / Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicles and infrastructures will only expand the use of MUM-T, with the emphasis it places on the use of autonomous systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remotely piloted aircraft, and vertical lift aircraft. In addition, while military environments have more urgency and pose more communication issues to overcome, the precision, speed, and tireless productivity inherent in MUM-T systems will make it hard not to adopt for commercial use.

Related topics to explore

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) • Air Force MUM-T • Army MUM-T • Autonomous Systems • C4ISR Systems • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) • Electronic Warfare (EW) • Future Vertical Lift (FVL) solutions • Human-Machine Cooperation • MUM-T Apache • MUM-T Architecture • Navy MUM-T • Software-defined Architectures • Synergistic Unmanned-Manned Intelligent Teaming (SUMMIT) • Unmanned-to-Unmanned Teaming • Urban Air Mobility (UAM)


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