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Changing requirements and solutions for unattended ground sensors
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Paper Abstract

Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) were first used to monitor Viet Cong activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the 1960's. In the 1980's, significant improvement in the capabilities of UGS became possible with the development of digital signal processors; this led to their use as fire control devices for smart munitions (for example: the Wide Area Mine) and later to monitor the movements of mobile missile launchers. In these applications, the targets of interest were large military vehicles with strong acoustic, seismic and magnetic signatures. Currently, the requirements imposed by new terrorist threats and illegal border crossings have changed the emphasis to the monitoring of light vehicles and foot traffic. These new requirements have changed the way UGS are used. To improve performance against targets with lower emissions, sensors are used in multi-modal arrangements. Non-imaging sensors (acoustic, seismic, magnetic and passive infrared) are now being used principally as activity sensors to cue imagers and remote cameras. The availability of better imaging technology has made imagers the preferred source of "actionable intelligence". Infrared cameras are now based on un-cooled detector-arrays that have made their application in UGS possible in terms of their cost and power consumption. Visible light imagers are also more sensitive extending their utility well beyond twilight. The imagers are equipped with sophisticated image processing capabilities (image enhancement, moving target detection and tracking, image compression). Various commercial satellite services now provide relatively inexpensive long-range communications and the Internet provides fast worldwide access to the data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6736, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks IV, 67360X (5 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.748638
Show Author Affiliations
Gervasio Prado, SenTech Inc. (United States)
Robert A. Johnson, Harris Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6736:
Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks IV
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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