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Robot-enabled Passive Acoustic Distributed Sensing for Fire Tracking in Contested Radio Frequency Environments

Awarded: NOK 0.20 mill.

At the heart of distributed sensing lies the concept of swarms – autonomous entities working in tandem to achieve a unified objective. This includes the application of distributed sensing to Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs),advanced tactical robotic platforms envisioned as force multipliers, primed to undertake and enhance complex military operations. UGVs bring us a step closer to autonomy, ensuring seamless operations even in the absence of human intervention, thus increasing survivability To improve operational communication, the NOMANSEARS UVGs will be designed to harness the dual power of Radio Frequency (RF) and optical communication. The latter, while promising, is not without setbacks, especially the necessity for an unobstructed line of sight. Moreover, the current arsenal of enemy weapon detection means presents issues of agility, exorbitant operational overheads, and a heightened susceptibility to enemy detection. Networked collaborative protection has been integrated into the NOMANSEARS vision. With an emphasis on localizing enemy activities, the system should be able to detect nuances such as enemy tanks firing or Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) being launched. This is pivotal in offering a comprehensive, real-time situational awareness to the forces. To address multifaceted integration challenges, NOMANSEARS will implement two core strategies: • The first involves an intricate interlinking of the UGVs, ensuring synchronized operations anchored by the CASTLE acoustic subarray technology. • Concurrently, the project will deploy avantgarde communication modalities, merging both RF and optical vectors, with an emphasis on strategically elevated transmission points to optimize efficacy and ensure Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) even in harsh environments.

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