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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

17 November 2015

MILIPOL 2015: LS telcom Develops Swarm Mission Planning Tool for Vehicular Ad-Hoc Communication and Remote Sensor Network

In a joint Franco-German research project, LS telcom developed a smarm mission-planning tool, which builds and controls an ad-hoc communication and remote sensor network based on unmanned airborne vehicles (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV).

LS telcom mission planner.

The aim of the project, which comprises a consortium of French and German companies and research institutions, was to provide a broadband communication network for rescue forces and the ability to inspect the disaster area.

The network is made up of a swarm of drones and ground vehicles, which carry a transmitter and receiver for data transmission as well as a GPS system for positioning. In addition, they carry cameras on board for real-time media footage of the disaster area - especially useful for otherwise inaccessible areas. Other possible payloads are radioactivity sensors, for example, in case of nuclear power station incidents. The vehicular ad-hoc network serves as emergency data communication link for rescue forces. The drones and ground vehicles streamline the information from their payload in real-time to the control station of the relief units.

With the help of the integrated GPS on the drones, the software displays the network of drones and ground vehicles in real-time on the map. At the same time battery status, height, and received power are displayed to control and ensure the connection between the vehicles while they are moving.
In a second step, the software will be able to simulate the ad-hoc network in advance. It will simulate the radio coverage for each vehicle on the move and will send pre-programmed waypoints to the drones before take-off.

The mission-planning software will help crisis managers to reduce the time for network deployment considerably, indispensable during a crisis.

The ad-hoc broadband network was tested in demonstrations taking place in Dortmund, Germany, in April 2015, and Toulouse, France, September 2015, with potential users of the system, the German professional fire brigade and the Landeskriminalamt (the German state office of criminal investigation).

Apart from LS telcom, CEA, Airbus DS, Groupe Intra, and Onera took part in the project as well as the Technical Universities of Dortmund and Aachen, the Fraunhofer Institute, Mirion Health Physics and the Kerntechnischer Hilfsdienst (KHG, German nuclear emergency service).

 LS telcom also provides sensing solutions for the police and military to monitor sensitive networks and sites. The wide area monitoring system LS OBSERVER from LS telcom helps to mitigate the risks of interference and identifies illegal transmissions around sensitive sites such as special event arenas, airports, railway stations, embassies and along borders and provides the necessary information for immediate action to eliminate the interference or threat.

The LS OBSERVER system consists of a central management unit, software for detailed measurement data analysis and various remote measurement units (RMUs). These can be fixed, portable, transportable, mobile or flying - depending on the monitoring exercise. The system locates the source of illegal transmission via the integrated geo-location functionality, such as handheld direction finding, Time-Difference-of-Arrival (TDOA), Power-Difference-of-Arrival (PDoA) and Angle-of-Arrival (AoA) techniques. In case of sudden unauthorised frequency use, the operator can take immediate action against the potential security threat.