Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Team Prometheus, consisting of Roke Manor Research as the prime system integrator and technology lead, QinetiQ as the assessment & trials lead, and Systems Engineering and Assessment (SEA) as the architecture & benefits assessment lead, have worked together to develop an innovative Dismounted Close Combat Sensors (DCCS). This partnership aims to identify and combine different novel sensor technologies. The results show that the DCCS project promises new solutions about collecting, processing, and delivering situational awareness information to soldiers.
The loss of GPS signal in buildings wherein the commanders will lose the ability to keep track on the situation and the dismounted soldiers will have to rely on their own situational awareness could result in blue-on-blue incidents, confusion between given verbal instructions, lost of lives of soldiers and civilians, and difficulties in securing potential landing sites for helicopters. This leads the Dstl to develop the Integrated Sensing Programme that aims to improve situational awareness for maintaining capability and freedom of action where necessary across land, sea, and air.
One of the aspects of the Integrated Sensing Programme is the DCCS and it aims to research, devise and develop a concept of wearable sensor fusion for soldiers, increase the local and shared situational awareness, and assess and contribute to the evolving technology areas for geolocation, target detection, and target handoff.
The DCCS is composed of world-leading technology. It has a vision based navigation system for GPS-denied situations, dual antenna GPS for accurate targeting, newly developed thermal sight to extend detection range, makes use of new technology in the short-wave infrared band to develop target handoff techniques, has a flexible system for easier technology integration in real world scenarios, and advances the modern warfare as a whole.
After the recent demonstration of the DCCS programme, Ken McEwan, the principal project engineer at Dstl commented: “This has been a very complex and technically challenging project. Despite these challenges there is no doubt that the demonstration programme has been very successful. It has shown that the concept works and that it has civilian and military applications.”
Roke’s lead engineer on the DCCS project, Mark Coleman, also said: “We independently considered 252 fledgling technologies from across industry, academia and beyond, before developing, distilling and fusing them to create the concept of an integrated wearable sensor system, which we then built and trialled. In addition to providing military advantage, we’ve also seen how DCCS lends itself as a testing platform to bring technology to the frontline faster.”
The DCCS will give a battle-winning edge to the UK Armed Forces by the time of 2020; the time expected it to be in service.
Original source: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).