|Preparations for MoD Grand Challenge: Part 1||- Preparations Part 1|
The kick-off meeting at Copehill Down signaled the official start of the preparations for the MoD Grand Challenge
Our aim is to keep our system as simple, as cost effective and as lightweight as possible. We also aim to enable the widest use of the proposed technology. The sensor system will be programmed to fly autonomously and gather the required imaging data, with the data being relayed back to the laptop via a standard WLAN connection operating at 2.4 GHz. We plan to use ultrasonic ranging systems to enable the sensor system to avoid colliding with an obstacle. Maximum use will be made of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf components and systems.
The excellent thing for us is that we can apply technologies we have developed for use in oil and gas pipeline monitoring. Consequently, we are likely to enhance our detection technology in the light of developments we make in our pipeline monitoring activities, in areas such as the use of scanning LIDAR to detect wires and the use of five CCD imagers on the air vehicle to build up a 3D, time dependent, image of the area under the aircraft. We plan to develop a solution which is:
Think of the soldier carrying the new system! He / she already has enough to carry.
Interesting slide on the increasing load of the infantry soldier from the presentation " LtColIanThompson_Urban_Operations_Further_Intro.ppt" on the MoD web site.
Consequently,although there is much mention of the automated detection of threats, we submit what we believe to be a better system than is currently used, albeit short of the end goal of fully automated threat detection. We are not experts in computer recognition of snipers, IEDs, heavy guns on vehicles, or, for that matter, of people in military style clothing.
Some of our strategies will need to be revised following the very instructive recent visit to Copehill Down for the kick-off meeting. Specific issues which we are grappling with, and which may cause us to revise our strategy, include:
Unfortunately, low hanging wires are a problem in real life, as shown in this photograph from " LtColIanThompson_Urban_Operations_Further_Intro.ppt" on the MoD web site.
Back in the lab, design and development work has started in earnest...
The above photograph was taken using a compact camera on a quadrotor made by MicroDrones of Germany (see http://old.orbitgis.com/index.php?c=products/microdrone/md_pictures.htmfor details)
and this magnification of the lower right hand side of the image shows the detail that can be derived from such a system.