The ICE-ODS project collaborates with Thales UK to improve the cybersecurity of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) systems by detecting cyberattacks when they occur and supporting decision-making when it comes to the continuity of UGV missions. The project aims to integrate the outcomes of the PETRAS-funded “Integrity Checking at the Edge (ICE)” project into a prototype operational decision support mechanism at Thales UK.
UGVs are vital for supporting humanitarian rescue and relief efforts in unsafe environments – for example, in regions of natural disaster or conflict settings. UGVs and their communication systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which could disrupt such missions. While most existing cyberattack detection systems only flag the presence of an attack, the current project also aims to support decision-making relating to when and how to act to ensure the continuity of the mission. This is vital as such missions are not as simple as stopping communication or turning the devices off during attack – everything must keep operating, and human interaction in the most strategic and minimal impact way is key. However, the ICE project will be a proof of concept, and low TRL (Technology Readiness Levels).
Thales offers an end-to-end Autonomous Logistics Supply that combines an intuitive digital twin interface, unmanned command and control system, and an autonomous, all terrain UGV system, with its own networked communications systems. The ICE-ODS project will raise the TRL through product validation in a specific, industry-driven context – which will see the POC turned into an impactful application. The UGV context must include both cybersecurity and safety of the system when making decisions around incident response. This is not a trivial exercise given the complexities and interdependencies in these systems. The translation of the ICE methodology to the Thales UGV context will provide a practical application and associated system that can be showcased as impactful demonstration of PETRAS-funded research, while also providing a high TRL toolkit for Thales to potentially drive into their own business lines as a spin out from this research.