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Last Update: 2009-03-31 Source: Research Headlines
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Czech Republic and US team up for aircraft navigation system
The Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT) has entered into a research agreement with the US military for the development of multi-technology systems for aircraft navigation, CVUT's Department of Cybernetics recently announced. The Prague-based CVUT has already developed a special computer programme for unmanned aircraft guidance that the US uses for aerial reconnaissance.
Citing the department, the Czech daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) reported the contract will run for 10 months. In a statement, CVUT said AgentFly is a software prototype of multi-agent technology used in aerial vehicles' air traffic control supporting the free flight concept built on top of the 'A-globe' multi-agent platform. All aerial assets in AgentFly are modelled as asset containers hosting multiple intelligent software agents, and each container is responsible for its own flight operation.
'The AgentFly was primarily developed for the management of unmanned aircraft guidance, but the intention of a joint project with the US Federal Aviation Association (FAA) is to explore possibilities of civilian flights,' explained CVUT Professor Michal Pěchouček. 'In the area of unmanned aircraft guidance, the Czech research belongs to the world's top quality,' HN quoted Professor Pěchouček as saying. 'This is also why the US has chosen us [for cooperation],' he added.
For his part, CVUT Professor Vladimir Mařík said the Obama administration is seeking a twofold increase in investments made in foreign research. 'The previous agreement — money [in exchange for Czech science] for the installation of a [US missile defence] radar — is no longer that important,' Professor Pěchouček was quoted as saying. 'The Americans like our research irrespective of whether the radar will be installed on Czech soil.'
It should be noted that another 18-month contract was also inked with the US military focusing on communication technologies. 'We're working on a safety computer system,' HN quoted Martin Rehák, a researcher from the Department of Cybernetics, as saying. 'It is able to eliminate all illegal attempts at entering the net, and thus protect sensitive data.'
The US shelled out CZK 12 million (EUR 450 655) on Czech research in 2008, with most of the money earmarked for information technology (IT) and special materials research. During the George W. Bush administration, the US promised to support Czech science in exchange for a green light from the Czech government to install the missile defence radar on Czech soil.
The US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) said it has started reassessing its plans, including its planned installations in the Czech Republic and Poland. Citing the MDA, reports have said the reassessment will be finalised in May.
Besides collaborating with the US military, the CVUT has also participated in a number of EU-funded projects including PANDA, ExPlanTech and AgentLink III.