September 13, 2011 Andrew White, SHEPARD GROUP
London - Roke Manor Research and Marshall Land Systems (MLS) will use DSEi to show off a prototype of an updated UGV designed for EW missions as well as more traditional surveillance operations.
The pair has integrated MLS’s Questar and Trakkar UGVs with Roke Manor Research’s Resolve EW system as well as the Synapse intelligent navigation system, designed to allow the platform to ‘roam beyond the operator’s line of sight’.
According to a spokesperson for Roke Manor Research, the updated UGV will provide ‘stand-off surveillance capabilities [and] will give troops advanced surveillance support, particularly when performing dismounted patrols.
Using an unmanned system to carry an EW manpack allows the sensor to be located in regions that would normally present too high a risk to personnel. Resolve will provide an additional sensor, enhancing situational awareness by rapidly providing patrols with a position fix for hostile communication equipment.
‘The new UGV system will also reduce the exposure of personnel to risk from snipers, when searching buildings, thoroughfares and vehicles for threats such as Improvised Explosive Devices,’ it was added.
Andy Wallace, programme manager at MLS, specifically highlighted associated benefits of reducing the weight burden of dismounted troops and said: ‘Working with our partners such as Roke will enable us to offer the most advanced systems on the market, going beyond the weight burden to reducing the exposure of military personnel in hostile environments.’
However, Roke Manor officials told Shephard that the project was too immature to talk about any operational evaluations, although they admitted that demonstrations would take place at the show for the first time.
Describing why Roke Manor and MLS had pursued such a programme, they added: ‘We had a joint project to integrate our vision processing control software onto the Marshalls vehicle and added further capability for the DSEi demo.’
Other capabilities for upgraded MLS UGVs include the Niitek Visor system for ground penetrating radar; Chess Dynamics’ OWL Electro-Optical director; Cobham’s DOMO digital communication data link; and Ovation’s Gemini-2 video link expander.