TAS researchers contribute to new publication – Autonomous Cyber Capabilities under International Law

Trusted Autonomous Systems are proud to promote the work of our Ethics and Law of Autonomous Systems researchers in the publication of ‘Autonomous Cyber Capabilities under International Law’.

The Activities Legal lead, Professor Rain Liivoja (University of Queensland – Law and the Future of War) is a co-editor, and it features contributions from Activity researchers Dr Tim McFarland (University of Queensland – Law and the Future of War) and Mr Damian Copeland (IWR) co-authoring with Mr Julian Tattersall.

in addition to many other respected contributors. The book was launched at a recent NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) event with the co-editor Ms Ann Väljataga, a Law Researcher at NATO CCDCOE.

Launch Event @ NATO CCDCOE

The publication explores the international law aspects associated with autonomous cyber capabilities and their potential impact to develop a deeper understanding of their implications. The volume is an expansion of a 2019 research paper.

The publication is available here.

Congratulations to Rain and the Team!

Outcomes of successful webinar on TAS’s project to develop an Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey and Operation of Autonomous and Remotely Operated Vessels in 2021

By Maaike Vanderkooi and Rachel Horne

The Webinar

As part of Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) project to develop an Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey and Operation of Autonomous and Remotely Operated Vessels, TAS held a Webinar on the project on Monday 5 July 2021. 50 stakeholders attended the Webinar, including a mix of small, medium and large industry members, accredited marine surveyors, class societies, and universities.

During the Webinar, we presented the key findings of our review of the currently available codes of practice and standards for autonomous and remotely operated vessels, including our review of the:

Informed by these findings, we then outlined proposed principles to underpin the Australian Code of Practice, and provided information on the proposed direction of the Australian Code of Practice in key areas.

The presentation provided at the Webinar, including a summary of our findings, is available here TAS Code of Practice Presentation.

Codes in Australian context, part of the linked presentation.

Attendees also had an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation. A summary of the questions asked and answers provided is available here TAS Code of Practice Webinar – Q and A.

Upcoming online workshops

Online workshops will be held in late July on draft content for the Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey and Operation of Autonomous and Remotely Operated Vessels. These workshops will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to the development of the Code by providing feedback on the draft content as well as more general input and ideas. It is essential that the Code is applicable and useful for the Australian maritime autonomous systems industry, and TAS is working closely with stakeholders, including AMSA, to achieve this vision.

Each workshop is directed towards a particular stakeholder group – see the list below – but you may register for any of the workshops.

Please only register for one workshop – they will all cover the same material. We are keeping each workshop to a manageable number of participants to ensure there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to provide their feedback and input.

New Workshops added due to demand (all stakeholders welcome):

Workshop 6:  Wednesday 28 July, 10.30pm – 12pm (New)

Register here:  https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/162624996743

Workshop 7:  Wednesday 28 July, 1pm – 2:30pm (New)

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/162626051899

Places remaining:

Workshop 4:  Monday 26 July, 10am – 11.30am (Limited positions remaining)

Workshop 4 is primarily aimed at accredited marine surveyors and Class Societies, but is open to all interested stakeholders.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/161043765237

Workshop 5:  Monday 26 July, 12.30pm – 2pm (Limited Positions remaining)

Workshop 5 is primarily aimed at creators of autonomous technology, ship and equipment builders, and vessel operators, but open to all interested stakeholders.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/161042022023

Sold out:

Workshop 1:  Thursday 22 July, 12.30pm – 2pm

Workshop 1 is primarily aimed at creators of autonomous technology, ship and equipment builders, and vessel operators, but is open to all interested stakeholders. Full

Workshop 2:  Friday 23 July, 10am – 11.30pm

Workshop 2 is primarily aimed at Defence, Defence industry and government stakeholders, but is open to all interested stakeholders. Full

Workshop 3: Friday 23 July, 12.30pm – 2pm

Workshop 3 is primarily aimed at accredited marine surveyors and Class Societies, but is open to all interested stakeholders. Full

If you would like to find out more about our work, or provide feedback on where you see the key risks and opportunities for the autonomous systems industry in Australia, please contact us as NASFP@tasdcrc.com.au

New TAS project to develop a Detect and Avoid (DAA) Design, Test and Evaluation (DT&E) standard for low-risk, uncontrolled airspace outside the airport environment

By Tom Putland – Director of Autonomy Accreditation – Air

The development of best practice policy, appropriate standards, and a strong assurance and accreditation culture has the potential to enhance innovation and support market growth for drones with autonomous abilities in the maritime, air and land domains.

The Trusted Autonomous Systems  (TAS) National Accreditation Support Facility Pathfinder Project (NASF-P), under the Assurance of Autonomy Activity, represents an opportunity to unlock Queensland’s, and by extension Australia’s, capacity for translating autonomous system innovation into deployments, given the existing test facilities operating in Queensland, the existing industry need identified and strong government backing.

The overarching purpose of the NASF-P is to:

  • Make it easier to design, build, test, assure, accredit, and operate an autonomous system in Australia, without compromising safety; and
  • Support and promote Queensland’s existing test ranges; and
  • Encourage both domestic and international business to operate in, and use Queensland as a base for the purpose of testing, assuring, and accrediting autonomous systems; and
  • Investigate, design, and facilitate the creation of an appropriate, independent third party entity that can continue to support the design, build, test, assurance, accreditation, and operation of autonomous system in Australia, by bridging the gap between industry, operators, and regulators.

New project: Development of a DAA DT&E standard

In the air domain specifically, the largest impediment to the integration of unmanned aircraft (regardless of autonomy) into the National Airspace System (NAS) is complying with the intent[1] of the See and Avoid (SAA) requirements detailed within Regulations 163 and 163A of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (Cth), particularly in Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. In lieu of a solution, operators and the regulator must go through a labour-intensive stakeholder engagement process with all aviation parties to prevent mid-air collisions. This approach will not scale to the projected numbers of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations into the future.

An autonomous/highly automated DAA system that complies with the safety objectives of CAR 163 and CAR 163A is a key enabling technology for integration into complex Australian airspace and will form an integral part of the safety assurance framework for UAS operations into the future.

The TAS team have initiated a new project, led by Revolution Aerospace, to develop a new Detect and Avoid (DAA) Design, Test and Evaluation (DT&E) standard for low-risk, uncontrolled airspace outside the airport environment. This is particularly relevant to Australian unmanned aircraft operations.

Dr Terry Martin (CEO) and the Revolution Aerospace team have a wealth of world-leading experience in Detect and Avoid, Machine Learning, Safety Assurance, Verification & Validation (V&V), and Test & Evaluation (T&E), representing Australia at international forums such as NATO, JARUS, and RTCA (to name a few).

Dr Terrence Martin, CEO of Revolution Aerospace

Terry is supported in this project by TAS’s Tom Putland – Director of Autonomy Assurance in the Air Domain. Tom has extensive experience in the regulation and safety assurance of UAS, having previously worked for CASA, and being CASA’s representative at JARUS and other international working groups. This team has the expertise, drive, and ability to solve this critical airspace problem for Australia.

Tom Putland, Director of Autonomy Assurance – Air at TAS

DT&E standard will create a process acceptable to CASA[2] that allows:

  • the derivation of high-level safety objectives; and
  • development of Verification and Validation (V&V) requirements; and
  • the conduct of relevant simulations and tests to demonstrate compliance with the safety objectives; and
  • the collation of compliance process and data into a package to support regulators (e.g. CASA) in issuing an approval for the operation.

TAS will engage closely with key stakeholders, including CASA, the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) and other industry members to ensure the process reflects current best practice, and is appropriate and useful for the Australian aviation industry. The intent is for the new process to be available for testing by the end of the year.

Upon completion of this project a subsequent project will be undertaken to work with industry partners and the Queensland Flight Test Range, Australia’s first and only commercial flight test range, to utilise and comply with this standard. Completion of these projects will increase the access and flexibility available for unmanned aircraft operations in Australian airspace.

If you are interested in learning more about these projects, be involved as an industry test partner, or discuss specifics (i.e. EO/IR sensing, classifiers/learning assurance, alerting and avoidance logic, formal verification, T&E), please email tom.putland@tasdcrc.com.au.

Other NASF-P projects underway

The NASF-P team have a number of projects underway, including:

  • Preparation of a Body of Knowledge on the assurance and accreditation of autonomous systems;
  • Maritime domain: development of a repeatable, regulator-accepted methodology to demonstrate compliance with COLREGS for autonomous and remotely operated vessels; and
  • Preparation of a business case for a new, independent, National Accreditation Support Facility, based in Queensland, that will better connect operators and regulators to facilitate more efficient assurance and accreditation.

If you would like to find out more about our work, or provide feedback on where you see the key risks and opportunities for the autonomous systems industry in Australia, please contact us as NASFP@tasdcrc.com.au.

 

[1] Through an approval under Subregulation 101.073(2) and Regulation 101.029 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (Cth).

[2] Regular engagement with CASA will assist to ensure the final process is acceptable to them, but note it has not been approved  at this point in time. In the future, the process is intended to form part of an acceptable means of compliance for a BVLOS approval.