Case study: Wearable sensor technology keeps pace with modern conflict
Modern conflict is moving into urban areas, and is therefore becoming a 3D problem, in buildings and throughout underground tunnels. Advancing military capabilities to improve combat action and protecting soldiers from blue-on-blue incidents within the modern urban warzone is therefore a key focus and a driver for cutting-edge technologies.
Instead of solving a problem with a single sensor, multiple integrated sensors provide a particularly powerful approach. In response to modern warfare challenges, an integrated Dismounted Close Combat Sensors (DCCS) programme was undertaken on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Aims of DCCS programme
• Research, design and develop a concept of wearable sensor fusion for soldiers
• Increase local and shared situational awareness
• Assess and contribute to evolving technology areas for geolocation, target detection and target handoff
Prime system integrator and technology lead
Assessment & Trials Lead
Architecture & benefits assessment lead
World-leading technology revealed
Navigation without GPS: Validated a vision based navigation system for GPS-denied situations
Accurate aim: Developed and assessed dual antenna GPS for accurate targeting
Expanded range: Developed a new thermal sight to extend detection range
Facilitating joint fires: Making use of new technology in the short-wave infrared band to develop target handoff techniques
Interconnecting technology: Developed flexible system to enable technology integration in real world scenarios
Advancing modern warfare: Applied existing research and informed current Ministry of Defence requirements and direction
From the Lab to the Field
The team’s unique expertise enabled us to transform ideas into reality. Exactly 252 fledgling technologies from across the industry, academia and beyond were independently considered before developing, distilling and fusing them to create the concept of an integrated wearable sensor system which the team then built and trialled.
Architecture and System Design
DCCS platform streamlines technology evaluation
- Multiple Open Source
Integration methods (USB, serial, IP)
- GSA Informed
- Releasable ICD
- Central power distribution
Route to Success
Rigorous assessments and trials have revealed world-leading technology successfully demonstrated to Dstl. As well as providing military advantage, the process has seen how DCCS ends itself as a model testing platform to bring technology to the frontline faster:
- Exploitable technology realised through innovative problem solving
- Combines commercial off the shelf technology with industry know-how
- Product creation possible in less than a year
DCCS is expected to go into service in the 2020s, giving our Armed Forces a battle-winning edge. Re-packaging off-the-shelf technology could allow DCCS to look like this.