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Autonomous and Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) for Security

National security has been described as the ability of a state to cater to the protection and defence of its citizenry. It includes Human security which means freedom from pervasive threats to people’s rights, safety, and lives. Homeland security means protecting the nation against terrorism, natural or man-made disasters, as well as public health emergencies. These are Internal Security threats, such as counterterrorism, aviation threats, border, port, and maritime threats and security,

 

The United States confronts a wide array of threats at U.S. borders, ranging from terrorists who may have weapons of mass destruction to transnational criminals smuggling drugs or counterfeit goods, to unauthorized migrants intending to live and work in the United States. In India long, porous, and difficult borders have created the security challenges of illegal immigration, cross-border terrorism, narcotics and arms smuggling, abetment of separatists, and left-wing extremism and separatist movements aided by external powers. The task of border management becomes even more complicated due to geographical factors. There are mountains, swamps, rivers, deserts, forests, and a variety of other geographical features which pose a challenge in front of security forces. Due to vulnerable borders, India has witnessed numerous cross-border terrorist attacks.

 

CBRN weapons are some of the most indiscriminate and deadly weapons in existence today, with the capability to affect large population in wide geographical area and in short time. CBRN defense remains an indispensable part of the strategic security preparedness of all nations. The overarching goal of CBRN Defense measures is keeping CBRN environments from having an adverse effect on personnel, equipment, critical assets, and facilities. This includes providing the most advanced diagnostic equipment and countermeasure technology for identifying and protecting against imminent threats. The defence against CBRN attack is transitioning to standoff detection of these threats in order to reduce the threat and the risk for the population. The standoff detection equipment is now being integrated onto aircraft, vehicles, and ships to limit direct exposure and proximity to such dangers.

 

Unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) for Security

An unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) is a vehicle that operates while in contact with the ground and without an onboard human presence. They are the land counterparts of marine and aerial unmanned vehicles. All of these vehicles play integral roles in enhancing performance, efficiency, and safety across various applications, including military and civilian. UGVs have the potential to carry heavyweight payloads, to look inside buildings and under tree canopies, to persist for days, and to operate in all weather conditions.

 

An autonomous UGV (AGV) is essentially an autonomous robot that operates without the need for a human controller on the basis of artificial intelligence technologies. The vehicle uses its sensors to develop some limited understanding of the environment, which is then used by control algorithms to determine the next action to take in the context of a human-provided mission goal. This fully eliminates the need for any human to watch over the menial tasks that the AGV is completing.

 

UGVs can be used for many applications where it may be inconvenient, dangerous, or impossible to have a human operator present. Generally, the vehicle will have a set of sensors to observe the environment, and will either autonomously make decisions about its behavior or pass the information to a human operator at a different location who will control the vehicle through teleoperation.

 

There are a wide variety of UGVs in use today. Predominantly these vehicles are used to replace humans in hazardous situations, such as handling explosives and in bomb disabling vehicles, where additional strength or smaller size is needed, or where humans cannot easily go. Military applications include surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition. UGV use by the military has saved many lives. Applications include explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) such as landmines, loading heavy items, and repairing ground conditions under enemy fire. They are also used in industries such as agriculture, mining, and construction.

 

UGVs are also being developed for peacekeeping operations, ground surveillance, gatekeeper/checkpoint operations, urban street presence and to enhance police and military raids in urban settings. UGVs can “draw first fire” from insurgents — reducing military and police casualties. Furthermore, UGVs are now being used in rescue and recovery mission and were first used to find survivors following 9/11 at Ground Zero.

 

The Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University are developing autonomous ATVs to secure borders and facility perimeters.
These scouts automatically patrol the desired path, detect and avoid obstacles, and provide operators with live video and audio feeds.
The scouts assist their human counterparts by providing eyes and ears in dangerous locations. Streaming audio and video enable an operator to evaluate threats and suspicious activities from the safety of a command-and-control center. Vehicles automatically detect and avoid obstacles as they navigate assigned patrol areas, relieving operators from constant vehicle monitoring. Many scouts operate concurrently, enabling a security officer to cover an area much larger than could be handled alone.

 

Autonomous Unmanned KBRN Reconnaissance Vehicle from HAVELSAN

Turkey’s first Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Command and Control System with CBRN-mentor who develop their own resources and HAVELSAN which is ready for use, depending on the developments with new threats is expanding its product family. In this context, the company is developing an Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (ICA) in order to ensure the weak detection of the CBRN threat.

 

The Autonomous KBRN Discovery ICA, which will immediately arrive in the area with the CBRN threat, will take samples from the scene and carry out real-time measurements through the sensors on it. With the KBRN Discovery İKA’s integrated KBRN BRIDGE Monitoring Application developed by HAVELSAN, the data obtained will be forwarded to the operation center. By obtaining the acquired knowledge to the KBRN-NEWS application, the near real-time KBRN Alerts and Reports will be created.

 

Australian military trials Strategic automated technology

Strategic Elements is set to trial its “Stealth” autonomous security vehicle with Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group, or “DSTG” which forms part of the Department of Defence. The DSTG will conduct a feasibility study on the potential use of the company’s innovative platform in a range of high-risk environments, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or “CBRN” compromised terrains. DSTG sees Strategic’s autonomous security vehicle, or “ASV” as fitting the bill, with the company having already proved the unit’s capability to provide ground-based perimeter security. It also recently developed a capability for the ASV to deploy an airborne drone for aerial surveillance.

 

The ASV is capable of both autonomous and manual operation and can carry a wide-variety of instruments, with the latest evolution set to carry a “sensor fusion stack” which could be packed with an array of cutting-edge technologies. The company is currently trialling the use of LiDAR, sonar, thermal imaging and high-resolution camera’s for use on the ASV, which will not only increase the versatility of the units but make them a valuable addition to the human workforce in security, mining and defence scenarios.

About Rajesh Uppal

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