Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC)

of the


Dr. Paul Holbourn
SELEX Galileo

Prof. Simon Watts
Thales UK Ltd

The Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS DTC) was
established to provide a centre of excellence in sensor rese...
Principles of
The EMRS DTC operated an open model for participation. The
industrial consortium provided “contrib...
RF Systems
The RF Systems Research Theme was led by SELEX Galileo Ltd.,
and was managed by Tony Kinghorn. The RF Systems t...
 Devices (TDM)
The TDM Research Theme was led by SELEX Galileo Ltd.,
and was managed by Paul Robert...
Electro-Optic (EO) Systems

The EO Systems Research Theme was led jointly by Thales UK and SELEX Galileo, and was
managed ...
Processing (TEP)
The TEP Research Theme was led by Roke Manor Research Ltd.,
and was managed by Bryan ...
Exploitation hydravision I
A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the exploitation of the
output of EMRS-DTC projects...
Exploitation hydravision II

A second Selex helicopter-mounted sensor
suite, incorporating a PicoSAR radar, a
Wescam MX15 ...


The first of the yearly Technical Conferences
was held in May 2004 at the Edinburgh



Points of contact:

Rapid, large area search capability and
detection of low signature targe...
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Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) - Publicity Brochure


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A brochure produced for the close of the Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) to summarize the achievements of the programme.

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Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) - Publicity Brochure

  1. 1. EMRSDTC Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) 2011
  2. 2. origins of the EMRS DTC EMRS DTC Supervisory board Dr. Paul Holbourn SELEX Galileo Prof. Simon Watts Thales UK Ltd Defence Technology Centres (DTCs) are virtual centres of excellence addressing broad technology areas considered by MoD to be likely to provide a high return to UK defence, and in which there is a significant research base outside the MoD. Each DTC is managed by a consortium of industrial partners, who are responsible for defining and executing its programme of research. Participants see a return on their investment in science and technology through exploitation in future defence equipment and wider civilian applications. The strategic aim of the DTC initiative is to provide more rapid pull-through of low technology maturity level research into the MoD’s defence equipment programme. The Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) has deployed over £41.5 million of research funding over the seven and a half year period from April 2003 to September 2010. The defence industry partners in the EMRS DTC consortium matched MoD’s funding with contributions in kind of £37.5 million. Led by an independent Research Director drawn from MoD’s Defence Scientific Advisory Council, the EMRS DTC is managed by an industrial consortium comprising: SELEX Galileo, Thales UK Ltd., Roke Manor Research Ltd. and BAE Systems. The DTC contract was awarded to SELEX Galileo as prime contractor. Dr. Alistair Jolly Chairman, EMRS DTC Supervisory Board Dstl Prof. Keith Lewis EMRS DTC Research Director Chairman’s Statement Terry Soame BAE Systems David Salter Roke Manor Research Ltd Prof. Peter Grant University of Edinburgh Prof. Hugh Griffiths University College, London Prof. Bill Bardo SEAS DTC Research Director Research Director’s Statement The EMRS DTC has now reached the end of its term, with many of its goals having been met, demonstrating the effectiveness of its collaborative research model. The EMRS DTC has created and managed a research programme consisting of 189 projects (including precursor activity) drawn from 48 organisations. The openness of the EMRS DTC model has enabled broad participation by Universities, Research Centres and SMEs in this DTC. The open, but competed, entry process to the DTC’s research programme has ensured that high quality science has prospered. Research projects usually ran for between one and three years, with a few (particularly in the area of semiconductor devices) running throughout the entire lifetime of the DTC. Achieving the best possible research programme within a finite budget required a rigorous review process that continually monitored all research projects. Those that didn’t meet their original expectations were terminated to make way for new projects. These benefits have been fostered under an “umbrella” constructed by MoD and industry working in partnership. The creation of the EMRS DTC has enabled the science base to focus a strong “technology-push” onto a receptive, industry-led funding body. The result has been the creation of a high-quality market orientated research programme, closely aligned to MoD’s capability needs. The continuing interest in the EMRS DTC research programme has been evident through attendance at our Annual Technical Conferences. Each year these events have succeeded in drawing over 400 delegates from across the UK, USA, Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Singapore. Moreover the EMRS DTC has been working in conjunction with MoD to establish International Research Collaborations with the defence laboratories of several nations. These efforts are now coming to fruition. A close working relationship was formed between Technical Advisors from the MoD’s Defence Science & Technology Labratory (Dstl) and the EMRS DTC Theme Leaders. Many of the DTC’s projects have reported significant scientific results, and several have attracted attention from companies interested in sponsoring the transition from basic to applied research. The DTC’s Annual Technical Conference, held in conjunction with that of the SEAS DTC provided a pivotal role in the DTC yearly cycle, encouraging the science base to improve the quality of the research programme through their responses to subsequent calls for proposals. In summary, the EMRS DTC has delivered a high quality, value for money programme of innovative research from a broad supplier base, with wide applicability to the defence and security of the United Kingdom. Dr. Andrew Seedhouse Dstl 02 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) www.emrsdtc.com 03
  3. 3. objectives The Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS DTC) was established to provide a centre of excellence in sensor research and development, supporting new capabilities in key military areas such as precision attack, battlespace manoeuvre and information superiority. The DTC was set up as a partnership between Industry, the Science base and UK MoD, to develop advanced and affordable technology in support of mission-oriented defence capabilities. Working at Technology Readiness Levels up to 5 the DTC brought together the best ideas and concepts from 48 different organizations, including SMEs and Universities, both in the UK and overseas, supporting future MoD requirements in Air, C4ISTAR, Maritime, Land and Special Project domains. The DTC was tasked with achieving the following generic outcomes, to: » Generate knowledge, via research, appropriate to future UK Defence needs in the relevant domains. Ultimately, customer demand determines whether a technology will be exploited or not. Here, Universities and SMEs have an important role to play in the supply chain for the provision of ideas and concepts through to military capability. The DTC framework placed both Universities and SMEs in an environment where Dstl and Industry provided the necessary support. The EMRS DTC has opened up the supply base for sensor research and as a result of its construct has removed barriers for ensuring private sector investment, enabling pull-through of new technologies for the benefit of the military user. At its inception in 2003 the DTC was assigned the following areas of requirement for enhanced military sensing capability: » ay and night, all weather capability. D » ong range operation. L » Enable earliest exploitation of knowledge generated for the benefit of UK Defence. » apid, large area search capability. R » Enable the knowledge generated to be used by MoD for internal UK government purposes. » etection of camouflaged/ D concealed targets. » Enable knowledge generated in the civil sector to be used within the DTC. » Enable the knowledge generated by the DTC to be exploited for the benefit of the civil sector. The individual work-packages of the Research Programme evolved with time to take account of the shifting emphasis of defence requirement. 04 The Government’s Green Paper on Equipment, Support and Technology for UK Defence and Security published in December 2010 sets out a consultation process for developing MoD’s future approach to equipment, support and technology. It builds on the earlier Strategic Defence and Security Review (October 2010) and highlights priorities for future science and technology investment. Of particular note are rapidly developing fields presenting a range of challenges for defence and security, including sensors, autonomous systems and identity assurance. Many of the technologies already developed as a result of the work of the EMRS DTC are highly relevant to the development of new capabilities in these arenas. » etection of low signature targets. D » ffordable, robust systems A for military platforms. » overt operation. C » Multi-function, detection/ identification capability. As the nature of conflict changed over the years, the DTC also remained contemporary, addressing challenges emerging in current operational theatres, including the detection of IEDs and suicide bombers, persistent wide area surveillance, low visibility landing aids, unattended ground sensors for base protection and sensors for autonomous systems. Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) www.emrsdtc.com 05
  4. 4. Principles of Operation The EMRS DTC operated an open model for participation. The industrial consortium provided “contribution-In-kind” equal in value to direct funds provided by MOD. This action created an umbrella under which “providers of science” to the DTC received full funding and retained full ownership of IP. The EMRS DTC model was attractive to Universities, technology-rich Small -Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Research Centres. This attraction was exploited through an annual, open call for research proposals facilitated through advertising, a strong web presence, mailshots and regional bidders’ conferences. The strong technology-push from the science base is met by a highly discriminating “market pull”, as exercised through the Research Theme Leaders of the EMRS DTC in close dialogue with the Research Director and Dstl Knowledge Integrators. The Research Theme Leaders are the Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) from the Industrial Consortium members. These CTOs manage Industry’s internal applied research programmes - a fact which positions them ideally to manage the transition from basic longterm research through applied research and onto technology acquisition. The EMRS DTC also operated an open model for dissemination of research output. This was performed through the annual EMRS DTC Technical Conference, with proceedings made available on the DTC’s web-site (www.emrsdtc.com). “Field trials were particularly successful and generated large numbers of datasets that are expected to form the basis of research activity for future years.” The DTC has achieved a productive working relationship with MoD and provided stability for the UK’s Defence Science Community over a period of significant change. Value for money was obtained through planning and financial efficiencies achieved by accessing industry resources and leveraging other funding sources in its collaborative programmes, including Regional Development Agencies and: » ngineering and Physical sciences E Research Council (EPSRC) » echnology Strategy Board (TSB) T » epartment for Transport (DfT) D » ome Office Scientific Development H Branch (HOSDB) » entre for the Protection of National C Infrastructure (CPNI) » efense Advanced Research Projects D Agency (DARPA) in the USA The scope of the research programme has ranged from very low TRL theoretical investigations through to successful airborne demonstrators at TRL 5/6. Researchers have been drawn from Universities, small and large companies and research institutes, including a number of overseas organisations. 06 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) www.emrsdtc.com 07
  5. 5. RF Systems The RF Systems Research Theme was led by SELEX Galileo Ltd., and was managed by Tony Kinghorn. The RF Systems theme has pursued a broad range of topics, investigating RF sensing technologies as diverse as ground-based HF (30MHz) surface wave radar, VHF (80MHz~400MHz) forward scatter radar, airborne radar from P-band (450MHz) up to X-band (10GHz) and low terahertz (250GHz) passive imaging. Areas of interest have included: » ltra-wideband and multi-frequency U RF sensors » F Sensors for urban operations R » hort-range and stand-off sensors S » dvanced building and groundA penetrating solutions » oherent change detection C » olutions for minimising the effects S of clutter in urban environments » eapon detection, IED detection W » arget ID and classification T » oliage penetration F A team comprising eOsphere (an SME), the University of Edinburgh and the German Aerospace Centre DLR has successfully processed multiple-pass SAR data obtained in flight trials to produce 3D tomographic imagery capable of detecting targets under foliage. The team also exploited a new polarimetric detector to discriminate military targets from single pass flights. Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) Radar At an initial workshop between the DTC consortium and Dstl, it was identified that technologies for wideband, multi-function RF systems would be likely to play a key role in the future. Projects supported at Teledyne in Australia have achieved remarkable success, and have demonstrated a 35GHz imaging system for security scanning (capable of imaging hidden weapons etc), an 8GHz system designed as a ‘sense and avoid’ sensor for UAVs and an 8GHz Multi-Beam Radar Altimeter intended for low visibility landing for helicopters. Within this category some notable advances have been made. Two teams, one at Selex Galileo and one at BAE Systems, successfully developed technologies for wide bandwidth (4:1 frequency range) dual polarised electronically scanned antenna arrays capable of wide angle scan in two dimensions. » ensing of small, slow moving targets S » eamless bistatic/multistatic radar operation S and passive RF observation for networkcentric surveillance and targeting » olutions for aircraft/UAV collision avoidance S 08 SAR can provide high resolution imaging at substantial stand-off ranges, in all weathers. The EMRS-DTC programme has focussed on more advanced SAR concepts, and has made notable strides in understanding and demonstrating some of these techniques. “In total, forty-four different research topics have been pursued over the entire period of the EMRS-DTC, with twenty different research suppliers involved.” Multi-function Wide-band RF Systems » pproaches for enhancing information A available from SAR eg 3D imaging, recovery of shape from shadows In total forty-four different research topics have been pursued over the entire period of the EMRS-DTC, with twenty different research suppliers involved. These include seven Universities, six SMEs, four large research institutes and three large defence contractors Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) An equally valuable part of the research into Multi-Function RF Systems was carried out by a team of engineers from Thales UK and Selex Galileo, which developed operational requirements and potential system architectures for multi-function systems for tactical unmanned aircraft. This research is being directly exploited in the SIMCLAIRS project, which is developing technologies for such systems and which also involves France and Sweden. The EMRS DTC programme has provided the fundamental guidance for SIMCLAIRS and is also likely to prove invaluable in a major new programme of research being planned by the UK in collaboration with DGA in France. Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) TeraHertz Sensing The EMRS DTC has supported Thruvision to develop an enhanced version of their 250GHz camera to support the detection of shallow buried objects at stand-off ranges. The sensor can detect a range of buried targets of interest, with characteristics that complement those of passive IR systems. TW Research successfully demonstrated interrupted SAR techniques (on real data) that avoided any significant degradation in the SAR imagery. This is particularly important for future multi-function systems. The University of Birmingham have achieved a world first in using non-cooperative transmissions of standard navigation satellites (in this case GLONASS and GALILEO) in conjunction with a simple airborne receiver to produce SAR imagery. This technique offers much potential for covert, persistent wide area surveillance. Maritime radars Unmanned Ground Sensors The University of Birmingham has developed the technology for a network of simple, low cost ground-based sensors that operate as forward scatter radars. Operating at VHF frequencies, these nodes do not need to be precision emplaced and could even be air-dropped. The system offers a unique capability for such purposes as persistent surveillance of remote border areas, base protection etc. Several research programmes investigated improved techniques for detecting small, difficult targets in sea clutter. Work was carried out initially by TW Research, complemented by more recent work at QinetiQ and has demonstrated the potential for significant improvements in performance by exploiting the frequency and spatial frequency characteristics of sea clutter which differ significantly from those of targets. www.emrsdtc.com 09
  6. 6. Transduction Materials Devices (TDM) The TDM Research Theme was led by SELEX Galileo Ltd., and was managed by Paul Robertson. This theme has largely provided support for RF Systems activity especially in relation to establishing underpinning electronic device technologies for future defence systems. Broad areas of interest have included materials, device and circuit technologies to provide the following capabilities with an emphasis on the use of cross-cutting and emerging technologies. cross-cutting and emerging technologies: » eductions in cost, size, power R consumption and weight of transmit/ receive components and modules for Radar, UAV sensing and EW applications » fficient, broadband, detection, E high-power generation and amplification at microwave, mm wave terahertz frequencies using III-V and wide band-gap semiconductors » dvanced component and circuit A concepts for adaptive array radars and next generation EW system for use in complex environments » High dynamic-range receivers and receiver protection » Improved power efficiency, packaging and thermal management of high-power devices In total twenty-one different research topics have been pursued over the entire period of the EMRS-DTC, with fourteen different research suppliers involved. These include six Universities, four SMEs, and two research centres. ELECTRONIC DEVICE PACKAGING The DTC also addressed electronic device packaging, with activity at organisations such as Areva (on multilayer aluminium nitride packaging), VTT Finland (on low temperature co-fired ceramic on metal) and Filtronic/BAE Systems (on liquid crystal polymer (LCP) laminates). At the outset it was recognised that there was a need to address new solutions for high-power high-frequency devices to replace vacuum tube technology such as in travelling wave tubes. RF power devices and components A project on gallium nitride (GaN) for nextgeneration sensors at QinetiQ was successful in developing a way forward for producing foundry-compatible cost-effective GaN devices through the use of silicon rather than silicon carbide substrates. Here the DTC benefitted from leverage gained from significant funding received separately from the TSB (Technology Strategy Board) in the area of GaN LEDs and from KORRIGAN under the European EUROPA framework. Significant benefit was also provided through supporting projects at Sheffield and Cardiff Universities. The DTC supported Element Six to establish the basis of CVD diamond MESFETs for RF power applications. Initially the work was focussed on the development of delta-doped devices exploiting the use of a very thin buried layer of highly boron-doped diamond. This formed the basis for the spin-out of Diamond Microwave Devices (DMD) as a separate company attracting investment funding and enabling leveraging of separate funding from the TSB and Dstl. Filters and circuits Cardiff University’s support for work on high-power devices has been critical to the evolution of new GaAs and GaN–based circuits using toolsets developed for the design and optimisation of high frequency circuits previously used for telecommunication systems. Two spin-out companies have been formed as a result of the DTC’s support. Work supported by the DTC at INEX on novel miniature reconfigurable filters for adaptive ultra wideband radar and EW systems has resulted in the development of MEMS devices which operate at very low currents and voltages and which provide a significant advance on currently available commercial devices. The designs are being exploited in the EDA SIMCLAIRS programme. 10 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) A project at Manchester University on ultra high-speed transistors has achieved target 150 GHz performance levels using ternary III-V structures operating at 6V and at temperatures up to 300˚C. The project has leveraged STFC funding provided separately to support the development of theSquare Kilometer Array for radio-astronomy. The DTC also supported activity in areas such as photonic analogue-to-digital convertors and major advances were made as a result of modulator research originally funded at Filtronic, subsequently acquired by u2t of Germany. ESL Defence also contributed to work in microwave photonics through research on the use of mode-locked fibre lasers to generate ultralow phase noise local oscillators. The growth of interest in sub-THz technology as an enabler for sensors for the detection of IEDs drove several of the DTC’s electronic device programmes. A project at QinetiQ, jointly supported by the DTC and HOSDB demonstrated the different components of a compact imager (antennas, transistors, LNAs and detectors) based on state-of-the-art InSb technology. www.emrsdtc.com 11
  7. 7. Electro-Optic (EO) Systems The EO Systems Research Theme was led jointly by Thales UK and SELEX Galileo, and was managed by Stephen McGeoch and Professor Robert Lamb. The Electro-Optic Systems Research Theme consists of projects in the following areas: “In total sixty-one different research topics have been pursued over the entire period of the EMRSDTC, including projects funded at fifteen Universities, eleven SMEs and two research centres.” » ctive Imaging » iscriminative Imaging » Novel Detectors » Advanced Optical Techniques A D The work is focussed on providing enhanced sensing capability through the introduction of novel sensor concepts as well as technologies that better exploit the optical environment, with improved performance and lower cost. Detector technologies Highlights include Selex-Galileo’s successful development of a dry-etch process for cadmium mercury telluride (CMT) focal plane array (FPA) infra-red (IR) detectors. The DTC has carried out a considerable programme of work in addressing challenges for These now form the basis of a group of commercial products, which are future EO Systems, with projects supported on advanced detector technologies, laser incorporated in a range of SELEX’s IR sources, discriminative imaging and novel optical techniques. cameras, including the dual-band In total sixty-one different research topics have been pursued over the entire period of Condor system. the EMRS-DTC, including projects funded at fifteen Universities, eleven SMEs and two research centres. Thales has developed a polarimetric QWIP detector capable of exploitation in the company’s Catherine MP camera system. Prototype systems have been used in Dstl’s Hydravision trials, demonstrating an ability to locate targets in cluttered environments and to discriminate areas of disturbed soil. Laser and Associated Technologies A project at the University of Southampton has developed a high-energy pulsed laser at 1.6 microns using a novel hybrid fibrebulk pumping scheme. Strathclyde University has developed a 2-axis MEMS beam-pointing device which provides an arbitrarily addressable scan capability using a single deflecting element. Discriminative Imaging Novel Techniques The EMRS DTC has continued to build the foundations of hyperspectral and polarimetric imaging, aimed at meeting requirements for the detection of buried mines and camouflaged, concealed and deceptive targets. A project at QinetiQ’s on lucky subframe imaging explored techniques for recovering high quality imagery from a video sequence distorted by atmospheric turbulence. This was particularly effective when applied to long-range active BIL imagery, which is also very badly degraded by atmospheric turbulence. BAE Systems, Thales, QinetiQ and Waterfall Solutions have developed processing techniques and algorithms to extract information from hyperspectral sensors, with emphasis on real-time operation, particularly at Waterfall Solutions. ALL FRAMES LUCKY FRAMES Selex Galileo explored the basis of a swept gate 3D-rendered and mosaiced approach to the restoration of long-range imagery through atmospheric turbulence. A project at QinetiQ developed a scientific understanding of the fundamental factors underpinning discriminative coded aperture imaging (CAI), with benefit gained from work separately funded by DARPA. The CAI technique provides a novel approach to persistent wide-area surveillance. Projects at Sheffield University have investigated novel quantum dot infra-red photo-detectors (QDIPs) and Type II Superlattices as LWIR and MWIR detectors. Some of the QDIP designs provide voltage-tunable spectral characteristics. 12 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) Heriot-Watt University developed a covert 3-D imaging system based on photoncounting and demonstrated imagery over a 300m range. www.emrsdtc.com 13
  8. 8. Transducer Embedded Processing (TEP) The TEP Research Theme was led by Roke Manor Research Ltd., and was managed by Bryan Rickett. The TEP theme has provided the key toolsets required for sensor exploitation. Toolsets include: » oftware and hardware methodologies S to minimise effect of processor evolution on through-life cost of ownership of defence remote sensing systems » ignal processing for self-test, S self diagnosis, self healing » rocessing techniques for enhancing P intelligence of sensors and for data extraction New software and hardware tools A project at Queens University Belfast on rapid development techniques and tools has led to the development of a new FPGA design environment and spun out an exploitation company, CapnaDSP, attracted regional development board investment. The project has shown spectacular gains in relation to the productivity of FPGA design processes. “In total thirty-three different research topics have been pursued over the entire period of the EMRS-DTC, including projects funded at one University, six SMEs and three research centres.” Image processing Processing tools for persistent surveillance A project at QinetiQ on Temporal Resolution Enhancement, has developed solutions providing super-resolution imagery over a number of video frames in order to extract higher resolution images than the optical system would naturally sustain. This software update to camera systems has the potential of improving target ID at long-range. Aspects of the work are being exploited by L3 Wescam Inc in their surveillance turrets. An image processing based project at Roke Manor Research Ltd took on the challenge of detecting anomalous behaviour within full motion video imagery from airborne platforms. » rocessing methods for sensors P supporting operations in asymmetric threat environments » ensor embedded processing methods S to help overcome the IED threat BAE Systems developed an opto-electronic processor, de-risked all of the key In total thirty-three different research topics component technology and finished with have been pursued over the entire period a credible miniature low power processing of the EMRS-DTC, including projects architecture that was projected to run eight funded at one University, six SMEs and times faster than the latest digital devices three research centres. but still able to maintain the 90dB dynamic range requirement of modern radar signal processing arithmetic. Algorithms for video mosaicing and change detection were used by 2d3 Ltd to demonstrate the effectiveness of their TacitView video analysis suite, which provided a coherent processing capability for geo-referencing video against mapping and metadata inputs. 2d3 have also successfully applied their novel view synthesis algorithms to imagery of desert helicopter landing sites, providing a tool for surveying those areas before significant dust clouds are generated by the helicopter downwash. The project tackled issues of apparent image motion, the detection of moving targets within moving images and the registration and mosaicing of scenes from irregular nonidentical passes over a target area. » ata adaptive signal and information D processing, including signal sorting especially in areas that are challenged by dynamic range and signal density » trategies for wide area search/track, S especially in the urban environment A project at Roke Manor Research Ltd on change detection addressed challenges of detecting anomalies in scenes using imagery recorded from separate passes. The process successfully detected bolts left on roadsides at operationally useful ranges. The technique was applied to visible band imagery and to moving infrared scenes recorded using the Thales Catherine MP camera. SELEX Galileo have developed real-time processing solutions for their dual-band (MWIR, LWIR) Condor cameras system and demonstrated its effectiveness in locating areas of disturbed soil in trials in desert environments. Roke Manor Research Ltd has developed techniques for discriminating abnormal behaviour from normal patterns of life using transient information obtained from airborne imagery. Thales UK have developed real-time processing solutions for their polarimetric cameras system and also demonstrated its effectiveness in locating areas of disturbed soil in trials in desert environments. The technique was demonstrated using a moving vehicle during the Hydravision 2 trials. 14 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) www.emrsdtc.com 15
  9. 9. Exploitation hydravision I A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the exploitation of the output of EMRS-DTC projects, not only in initial programme selection but also in the ongoing assessment undertaken by the Theme Leaders. The exploitation process has been supported by two major trials, Hydravision I and II, organised by Dstl, to test concepts in representative environments against realistic military targets. Hydravision I Hydravision 1 was a trial of EO technologies that was held on 5-18th March 2008 to demonstrate and evaluate the products of DTC research. The sensors tested included a variety of discriminative imaging technologies (including spectral, polarimetric, and range-resolved active laser imagers), operating in different optical wavebands. The trial was hosted by Dstl at Porton Down, and was attended by 13 teams from 7 different organisations: BAE Systems, Dstl, Heriot-Watt University, QinetiQ, Selex, Thales, and Waterfall Solutions. The trial used a comprehensive target set including both military and civilian targets, and the opportunity was taken to include some emerging sensor technologies from non-DTC programmes. The performance of the new sensors was benchmarked against existing sensors including high-performance TV and thermal imagers. The imagery generated was used to assess algorithms for target detection and data fusion, some of which were developed by the DTC. The sensors broadly fell into two classes: widefield devices to assist the detection of difficult or camouflaged targets within a wide search area, and narrow-field devices for target identification. A variety of “discriminative imaging” technologies, providing images based on a variety of modalities, were tested. Testing of new image processing algorithms that detect and locate targets within the multi-dimensional image also formed an important part of the trial. Both CMT and QWIP FPA systems demonstrated impressive performance under a variety of day and night conditions. A wide variety of targets stood out clearly even at 4.2 km range. However, performance deteriorated severely after heavy rain, which eroded the temperature contrast in the scene; several nonthermal modalities performed better under these conditions. Several challenging technical risks had been identified surrounding the polarimetric variant of the QWIP device, but the trial convincingly demonstrated that these devices provided functionally useful imagery under outdoor conditions. “Both CMT and QWIP FPA systems demonstrated impressive performance under a variety of day and night conditions.” For the short-wave infrared (SWIR) band, spectral and polarimetric signatures were found to be complementary in nature and their combination significantly improved detection statistics. The optical techniques for selection of “lucky” subframes pioneered within the EMRS DTC were faster and more efficient than previous techniques. The trial demonstrated suppression of turbulenceinduced distortion to levels that enabled characters to be read at 4.2 km range. The trial provided the first substantial test of “3D laser imaging” which provides complete range-intensity information at each pixel and represents an important step forward from established BIL imaging techniques. The trial provided an extensive set of valuable new imagery of vehicles and other targets at different orientations and under different conditions, and has provided a valuable stimulus to the development of processing/display techniques to exploit the powerful new capability. 16 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) www.emrsdtc.com 17
  10. 10. Exploitation hydravision II A second Selex helicopter-mounted sensor suite, incorporating a PicoSAR radar, a Wescam MX15 turret (VNIR + thermal), and an IDGEO ground-referencing system, demonstrated simulated radar cueing and hand-over of targets for high-resolution EO observation. Imagery from the MX15 turret was provided for processing by Roke Manor Research Ltd, 2d3 and QinetiQ. A dual-band airborne polarimetric SAR (eOsphere and DLR) combined high spatial resolution (X band) with foliage penetration capabilities (S band). Resolution levels were sufficient to revealed a wealth of features, including firearms and other small metallic objects and small terrain features. Different agricultural crops have distinctive and easilyrecognisable signatures. A pair of helicopter-mounted Selex PicoSAR GMTI radars provided data to investigate highprecision target location using a crossed-beam technique. The radar technique improved cross-range precision and discriminated overtaking/crossing vehicles specifically staged to confuse the tracking process. Hydravision II The Hydravision II trial was held at Porton Down in May 2010. The trial brought together sensor teams from across UK industry to demonstrate persistent surveillance techniques needed by Forces in-theatre to identify insurgents and expose their organisations. A series of live outdoor exercises was staged in which a “terrorist” team prepared and launched a simulated IED attack. Twelve EO and RF sensor teams recorded imagery, and subsequently attempted to “rewind the tape” back from the IED event itself to determine the previous actions and movements of the terrorists, the co-conspirators with whom they previously met, and the buildings that they all visited. The trial included both groundbased and airborne sensors. 18 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) The technical challenges included: » he recognition and identification of T individuals, vehicles, and other objects seen at different times and places, using a variety of signatures to complement conventional intensity imagery. » he tracking of movements of vehicles T and individuals amongst the natural clutter of on-site activity. » he cueing and hand-over between T different sensors to maintain persistence. » rocesses of data fusion and information P extraction from multiple sensors. In the area of persistent surveillance, a 128 Mpixel helicopter-mounted electro-optic imaging turret (PV Labs, Selex) successfully tracked complex vehicle movements, including coverage from buildings which were deliberately chosen not to be seen by other sensors, so providing a vital contribution to unravelling insurgent activity. Airborne and ground-based hyperpectral imagers (BAE Systems) demonstrated the ability to recognise and distinguish previouslyseen vehicles by their spectra. Comparison with Hydravision 1 shows dramatic improvement in image quality and in the discrimination and speed of target detection algorithms. In the area of discriminative imaging, polarimetrically-enhanced SWIR imagery (BAE Systems) extended the ability to discriminate camouflaged targets in vegetation to lower light levels than comparable hyperspectral systems. SWIR water absorption bands in natural vegetation provided strong contrast against man-made targets, and polarisation further enhanced the contrast. A van-mounted sensor suite (Thales) comprising a polarimetric Catherine MP thermal imager and RGB and VNIR CCD cameras provided live enhanced video to aid detection of roadside IED targets. The imagery has been exploited in change detection processing (Roke Manor Research Ltd), for the detection of suspicious new objects by comparison between successive passes of the vehicle. In the area of high-resolution imaging for long-range identification, Selex’s 3D system demonstrated dramatic performance improvements since Hydravision I. QinetiQ’s lucky-imaging optics were used in conjunction with a 2D burst illumination system from Selex, using a wavefront analyser to select the undistorted sub-frames, and these “lucky” subframes were selected, registered, and combined at near-real-time rates. A high-sensitivity electron-multiplying CCD Dispersive and Fourier-transform imagers camera was used by Melford Resolution to were used to gather imagery of scenes and mitigate the degradation of passive imagery targets at 1.4 km and 0.7 km, and also for sand by atmospheric turbulence. samples at short range. Hydravision II provided an opportunity to assess Birmingham University’s unmanned ground radar sensor. Moving vehicles and pedestrian signatures were detected at ranges that were too long for conventional sensors. The Hydravision 2 trial achieved an important step in the use of sensors to provide persistent surveillance capability to counter insurgent activity. The trial has produced a comprehensive set of imagery describing two simulated IED attacks, and set a processing challenge to assemble the story from the fragments and thereby select the key sensors required for a robust and affordable military capability. Significant advances included: » Radar/EO cueing and multi-Mpixel camera technologies both enable impressive combinations of wide-area surveillance and high-resolution target observation in airborne surveillance. » Improved camera technologies (lighter, cheaper, multi-function, improved atmospheric compensation) form important enabling steps towards the sensor networks needed to provide ground-based persistent surveillance. » Advanced radar techniques provide improved resolution to meet the stringent requirements of operation in cluttered environments. The demonstrations and the data generated by the trial have direct relevance to all of the principal future programme items of Sensors Domain. The trial has made important inputs towards the definition and design of future demonstrators. It has also highlighted opportunities to assist current Operations through the insertion of processing upgrades and (in some cases) sensor upgrades into existing systems and platforms. www.emrsdtc.com 19
  11. 11. Communications OUTCOMES The first of the yearly Technical Conferences was held in May 2004 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), and attracted 360 registered delegates, including representatives from the USA, Singapore, France and Australia. The EMRS DTC programme produced the following broad outcomes: Further conferences, sponsored by Scottish Enterprise were held on an annual basis in collaboration with the SEAS DTC to encourage opportunities for sensor exploitation especially in relation to autonomous systems. The most recent conference was held in July 2010. This was again well attended and in common with the more recent events included an interactive exhibition and poster session at the EICC. Community and Education A major outcome has been the development of a Sensors Community across the UK as a result of the DTC’s activities. This has brought together separate organisations with different capabilities to enable better-focussed solutions to be developed to meet MoD’s requirements. The total number of individual DTC contracts or awards placed over the 7.5 years (excluding Hydravision II trials activity and precursors) was 165 and within this list there were 37 projects funded at University Departments and 39 at SME’s. This involved 17 individual Universities: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow, Imperial, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Queens Belfast, Strathclyde, Sheffield, Southampton, St Andrews and UCL with several of these Universities receiving multiple awards to make up the total of 37. During the 7.5 years of the EMRS DTC, over 2,500 delegates attended its conferences, with representation from over 200 exhibitors. A major showcase event was held jointly with the SEAS DTC at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London in April 2008 to engage with MoD stakeholders as well as the press and national news media. 14 different UK SME’s received awards: 2d3, Areva, Diamond Microwave Devices, ESL, Intense Photonics, INEX, Nallatech, Phasor Solutions, Plextek, Sula Systems, ThruVision Systems, TW Research, Vexcel (later to become eOsphere) and Waterfall Solutions and funding was supplied to TNO and VTT in mainland Europe and Filtronic Pty in Australia (later to become Teledyne). The DTC also made use of the 4-year Engineering Doctorate Members of the press and national news media were also invited to scheme (EngD) run by the Institute for Systems Level Integration an open day at the Hydravision II trials in May 2010, which resulted (ISLI) in Livingston for 4 projects, which were jointly funded by the EPSRC and the DTC. These EngD projects were run over DTC in broadcasts on regional TV and radio networks later that day. years 4 - 6 in the industrial companies who agreed to act as hosts The EMRS-DTC web site is maintained by SELEX Galileo and can and provided excellent value to the DTC for a total spend of only be found at www.emrsdtc.com. The web site provides an open £170k for 12 years of University supervised research effort. source of information on the structure and operation of the EMRSThe DTC also collaborated with the Technology Strategy Board, DTC, calls for proposals, and conference proceedings. notably through the Industrial Mathematics KTN to set a framework for a call for proposals on Underpinning Defence Mathematics (UDM) issued to the UK Mathematics community early in 2010. The UDM framework also enabled five Industry Internships to be funded, each of 6- month duration. 20 Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) » tability for the UK’s Defence Science S community supporting future military sensing over a 7.5 year period of significant change. » Planning Efficiency: through visibility by MoD of Industry’s private venture (PV) funded activities and Research Development pipeline. » close and productive working A relationship between MoD, Industry the Science Base. » he DTC provided a source of radical new T concepts for future product streams and a source of incremental improvements for current product streams. » inancial efficiency in programme F T execution (leveraging Industry’s resources » he DTC extended the supply chain to include ideas and concepts, developing and business systems to integrate future key suppliers for MoD. a dispersed and fragmented supply chain), value for money (through a wholly » he Annual Conference ensured T competed collaborative programme, with Knowledge Transfer and supported lower cost projects sometimes leveraging future calls for proposals. other funding sources eg Industrial PV, EPSRC, TSB, DfT, HOSDB, CPNI and RDA funding). Land, Ground Manoeuvre and Special Projects In relation to key areas Detection of IEDs: Thales has developed a of MoD requirements, the Base Protection Border Security: new form of camera that exploits polarimetry The University of Birmingham has following are examples of and realtime processing algorithms to locate developed Unattended Ground Sensors outcomes provided by the that form the basis of a low-cost, reliable regions of disturbed soil and the man-made objects that are typically associated with and easily-deployed network of sensors EMRS DTC: for intruder warning in remote areas and around forward operating bases. buried IEDs. Selex Galileo have developed a new camera system that exploits dual waveband processing to give both enhanced range capability and target discrimination associated with the detection of buried IEDs. Aids for Vehicle Based Ground Manoeuvre: Roke Manor Research Ltd has developed change-detection algorithms for application with COTS cameras that enable improved security along convoy routes. Helicopter Low Visibility Landing Aids: A new class of imaging radar has been developed by Teledyne to support helicopter landing in adverse environments. Day and night, all weather capability / Long range operation: Melford Resolution and QinetiQ have developed new techniques for mitigating the degradation of long-range imagery resulting caused by atmospheric turbulence, especially in hot-desert areas. Detection / Identification Capability: A much improved understanding has been gained of the benefit of multi-band and hyperspectral imagery in automatically locating camouflaged/concealed targets, with very effective capability demonstrated using relatively simple, cost effective, systems. www.emrsdtc.com 21
  12. 12. OUTCOMES CONTACTS Maritime Points of contact: Rapid, large area search capability and detection of low signature targets: TW Research and QinetiQ have developed new processing techniques for maritime radars to improve the detection of small, fast attack craft in littoral environments and other areas of strong sea clutter. Professor Keith Lewis, EMRS DTC Research Director Tel: 01684 568848 e-mail: klewis@sciovis.com For detailed information on all of the EMRS DTC projects please refer to: www.emrsdtc.com/conferences.htm Neil Whitehall, EMRS DTC Operations Director Tel: 0131 343 8610 e-mail: neil.whitehall@selexgalileo.com Day and night, all weather capability / Long range operation: Melford Resolution and QinetiQ have developed new techniques for mitigating the degradation of long-range imagery resulting caused by atmospheric turbulence, especially in high humidity littoral environments. Theatre Air and C4ISTAR Persistent Wide Area Surveillance: Algorithms have been developed by Roke Manor Research Ltd which will enable automatic tracking (and backtracking) of multiple target motion from airborne cameras on-board Tactical UAVs. When cued by IED explosions, such an approach supports the location of key sites in the IED life-cycle. Persistent Wide Area Surveillance: PV Labs, 2d3 Ltd and Roke Manor Research Ltd have developed video mosaicing and processing techniques applied to wide-area surveillance that support identification of anomalous behaviour and change detection. Detection of camouflaged/concealed targets: New radar polarimetric techniques have been developed by eOphere, DLR Edinburgh University to enable the location of targets hidden under tree canopies and improve the accuracy of change detection when applied for the sensing of hostile movements in highly cluttered environments. Multi-function, detection/identification capability: Selex Galileo and 2d3 Ltd have developed new tools to support multiple sensor exploitation, with automatic hand-off, geo-location and full metadata integration. 22 Long range operation: QinetiQ has developed new image processing algorithms which significantly improve the resolution of surveillance imagery from visible band and IR camera systems, with no impact on system size and weight. Long range operation: The development of compact, power-efficient RF systems, especially for UAVs is being supported by the evolution of new designs for electronic devices and circuitry especially those based on gallium arsenide and gallium nitride. This work is taking place at QinetiQ, Cardiff University and SELEX Galileo. Electro-Magnetic Remote Sensing (EMRS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC) Multi-function capability: Selex Galileo Thales are re-considering the architecture of RF sensors for tactical and MALE UAVs, enabling the provision of radar, ESM, EW and communication functionality at a much lower penalty in relation to size, weight and power constraints, based upon integrated multi-functional concepts. www.emrsdtc.com 23
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