Wearable combat sensors in development
Wearable sensor solutions are being developed by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and a number of industry partners with the aim of fielding the technology to the British armed forces by the 2020s.
Developed with Roke Manor Research, QinetiQ and Systems Engineering and Assessment (SEA), Dismounted Close Combat Sensors (DCCS) are designed to overcome the challenges associated with loss of GPS signal during operations – either within buildings, when there is no clear line of sight with the GPS satellites, or the signal is being jammed.
The DCCS system uses inertial and visual navigation sensors when GPS signals are not available. Taking the last known GPS location, DCCS combines information from visually tracked features captured by a helmet camera and inertial sensors, accurately calculating where an individual is, allowing people to be tracked in buildings and tunnels.
The system can also help to prevent friendly fire incidents as it allows commanders to track not only the location of personnel, but GPS, inertial and magnetic sensors on the weapon also track where it is pointing.
Providing a combination of camera, laser and orientation sensors mounted on the personal weapon will allow commanders to highlight targets to other troops, UAS and aircraft at the press of a button. This will be quicker, easier and less confusing than giving verbal instructions; and more accurate.
In addition, acoustic and camera technology automatically identifies where enemy weapons are being fired from, even if the individual hasn’t seen or heard it being discharged. This information is provided to the wearer and to commanders, allowing them to take appropriate steps to deal with the threat.
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