Unmanned Systems Technology 027 l Hummingbird XRP l Gimbals l UAVs insight l AUVSI report part 2 l O’Neill Power Systems NorEaster l Kratos Defense ATMA l Performance Monitoring l Kongsberg Maritime Sounder

74 U S-based Kratos Defense is a contractor involved in developing vehicle automation systems for military users, primarily as a way of reducing the number of personnel needed in dangerous operations such as route clearance or convoy missions. While demonstrating a Humvee-type military vehicle with autonomous capabilities, an observer commented to Maynard Factor, director of business development at Kratos, that the demonstrator’s technologies could be applied to a crash attenuator vehicle. These are essentially human-driven mobile crash barriers that drive behind highway work zones to protect against motorists accidentally driving into the workspace. They typically comprise a truck towing an impact attenuator – a wheeled device designed to absorb the damage from vehicle collisions. However, the person in the towing vehicle is exposed to a high risk of permanent injury, and even death in some cases, despite the protection afforded by the impact attenuator. Factor and his team therefore saw an ideal opportunity to adapt the technology they had developed for the military into a commercial application. That led to the development of the company’s first major commercial autonomous venture, the Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator (ATMA) – or autonomous impact protection vehicle, as it might be called in the UK and some other countries owing to differing naming conventions. The two truck chassis were not developed by Kratos but come from Royal Truck & Equipment, the largest manufacturer of truck-mounted attenuator vehicles and specialised vehicle Rory Jackson explains the workings of this autonomous impact protection vehicle for road repair and maintenance crews Life in the slow lane August/September 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology