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Session 1.4c Conference Product Brief: HERCULES EW™ – A Distributed Autonomous EW Capability for Land Operations

Tuesday, November 14, 2023
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Menzies Theatre
Sponsored By:

The war in Ukraine again emphasises the importance of Electronic Warfare. Project Land 555 Phase 6 is modifying existing Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles and installing Electronic Warfare systems into these vehicles. Consequently, there are limited systems available to Army, each requiring a Bushmaster and its four-man crew.
HERCULES EW offers a new approach, consisting of multiple small autonomous ground vehicles (Kelpies) and small UAVs (Aerosondes), working together as a team. Each mounts a small, low-cost EW transceiver (Wombat), to provide a highly effective, distributed EW capability.
HERCULES EW incorporates mobile ad hoc networking (MANET). Network resilience with DST Group’s Harlequin sub-system, which optimises the MANET in real-time, using relocatable MANET nodes mounted on the Kelpies and Aerosondes.
HERCULES EW has been jointly developed by AOS and Asension (formerly DEWC Systems), combining:
  • AOS’s Kelpie autonomous ground vehicles.
  • Asension’s Wombat S3 – a small, cost-effective, remotely configurable EW transceiver installed on each vehicle.
  • Aerosonde UAVs mounting MANET nodes.
  • iWatchdog – a distributed multi-vehicle tasking system that coordinates autonomous vehicles and systems to best meet the overall mission goals.
  • A sovereign electronic attack and defence capability.
  • Distributed EW capability, based upon affordable Kelpie autonomous vehicles and the affordable Wombat S3 transceiver.
  • A mix of land and air vehicles offering maximum coverage and resilience.
  • Resilient mesh network, based upon Harlequin.
  • Enhanced situational awareness and threat assessment
  • Spectrum monitoring for communication assurance and channel allocation.
  • Compatibility with EW industry data standards.


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Dr Andrew Lucas
Managing Director

Andrew Lucas is the founder and Managing Director of Agent Oriented Software (AOS), established in Melbourne in 1997 as an offshoot of the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute (affiliated with the AI Center at SRI International, Menlo Park, CA). AOS specialises in AI and autonomous and robotic systems – working on autonomous systems with the Australian Department of Defence, UK Ministry of Defence, RAAF, Australian Army and Navy. AOS has developed its technology base of symbolic AI software, focused on intelligent software agents. Combined with other AI technologies, including machine learning, machine vision, and constraint programming, these technologies provide the basis for intelligent and autonomous systems. Andrew leads AOS’s development of autonomous vehicle technology, including teams of autonomous vehicles for the defence, agricultural, mining and construction industries. Andrew holds a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Engineering (1st Hons) from the University of Melbourne. Andrew is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Remotely Piloted and Autonomous Aircraft Systems Specialist Group.