At the DWT conference and exposition covering “Applied Research for Defence and Security in Germany,” taken place in Bonn (Germany) this week, the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) presented a project named “Process Chain Automatized Reconnaissance Support.” It encompasses the attempt to seamlessly integrate UGVs and UAVs (unmanned ground and aerial vehicles) into the mission of an infantry unit of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). During a manoeuvre next May, platoon of the 23rd Mountain Troops Brigade in Bad Reichenhall will be equipped with two tracked UGVs and two rotary wing UAVs. Whereas one UGV will serve as a transport unit, the other three unmanned systems are to integrate themselves into the platoon’s formation, thereby reconnoitring the surroundings with their sensor technology. Additionally, the unmanned systems can be given individual orders, i.e. to autonomously conduct reconnaissance in an area that has not been scanned yet. The data provided by the unmanned systems via LTE, according to FKIE, will be merged into a consistent situation picture that can be accessed in real time via mobile devices and other communication systems.
Picture shows a unit of Fraunhofers’ experimental platform GARM (once designed by order of the armasuisse in cooperation with RUAG), which weighs 460kg, has a maximum speed of 15kph and can carry a payload of 150kg. It is equipped with a LIDAR application (Light detection and ranging) produced by SICK (scanning range: 80m). (Photo: Alexander Kolberg)