US Army Showcases AI-Based Target Recognition Aboard M1 Abrams Tank

The US Army has demonstrated an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled target recognition prototype integrated with an M1 Abrams main battle tank in California.

The event was part of Project Convergence 2022, an effort to identify next-generation technologies for modern warfare.

It supports the Advanced Targeting and Lethality Aided System (ATLAS) program to trial various target monitoring capabilities.

ATLAS Demonstration

Led by the army’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, images show several sensors equipped around the vehicle.

C5ISR Center teamed up with Army Soldiers for five weeks during Project Convergence 22 to test prototypes during force-on-force experimentation. Engineers and scientists worked closely with Soldiers to gather feedback on ways to improve functionality of technologies critical to achieving overmatch of the Army’s adversaries. During the exercise, Soldiers tested the Advanced Targeting and Lethality Aided System (ATLAS) which demonstrated a wide range of aided target acquisition, tracking and reporting capabilities while operating in a realistic combat environment.
US Army experts demonstrating ATLAS target recognition capability aboard M1 Abrams tank. Photo: Jenna Mozeyko/US Army

The army’s “Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System Combat Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System” for scoring combat simulation assessments is mounted on the tank.

The rear part of the vehicle has exhaust equipment likely for the computer of the AI-driven system, The Drive reported.

Improving US Army Target Recognition

According to the US Army, the ATLAS enables warfighters to distinguish threats that humans can not discern easily and rapidly.

The AI-assisted solution underwent a series of experiments to match the technology with human performance while preventing mishaps during target acquisition and reporting operations.

“ATLAS uses an aided target recognition system that scans a field of regard, so the Soldier is assisted by an artificial intelligence system that is also searching the scene,” C5ISR Center Human Perception Laboratory’s Dr. John Graybeal explained during an ATLAS test in 2021.

“While this should accelerate target engagements, one of the problems Soldiers encountered was they could easily lose track of where they were scanning previously.”

“We had Soldiers work with that function extensively in this testing iteration, and collected feedback to see if it was doing what they needed it to do.”

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