5 May 2006 Autonomous UAV-based mapping of large-scale urban firefights
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Abstract
This paper describes experimental results from a live-fire data collect designed to demonstrate the ability of IR and acoustic sensing systems to detect and map high-volume gunfire events from tactical UAVs. The data collect supports an exploratory study of the FightSight concept in which an autonomous UAV-based sensor exploitation and decision support capability is being proposed to provide dynamic situational awareness for large-scale battalion-level firefights in cluttered urban environments. FightSight integrates IR imagery, acoustic data, and 3D scene context data with prior time information in a multi-level, multi-step probabilistic-based fusion process to reliably locate and map the array of urban firing events and firepower movements and trends associated with the evolving urban battlefield situation. Described here are sensor results from live-fire experiments involving simultaneous firing of multiple sub/super-sonic weapons (2-AK47, 2-M16, 1 Beretta, 1 Mortar, 1 rocket) with high optical and acoustic clutter at ranges up to 400m. Sensor-shooter-target configurations and clutter were designed to simulate UAV sensing conditions for a high-intensity firefight in an urban environment. Sensor systems evaluated were an IR bullet tracking system by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and an acoustic gunshot detection system by Planning Systems, Inc. (PSI). The results demonstrate convincingly the ability for the LLNL and PSI sensor systems to accurately detect, separate, and localize multiple shooters and the associated shot directions during a high-intensity firefight (77 rounds in 5 sec) in a high acoustic and optical clutter environment with very low false alarms. Preliminary fusion processing was also examined that demonstrated an ability to distinguish co-located shooters (shooter density), range to <0.5 m accuracy at 400m, and weapon type. The combined results of the high-intensity firefight data collect and a detailed systems study demonstrate the readiness of the FightSight concept for full system development and integration.
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Stephen Snarski, Karl Scheibner, Scott Shaw, Randy Roberts, Andy LaRow, Eric Breitfeller, Jasper Lupo, Darron Nielson, Bill Judge, Jim Forren, "Autonomous UAV-based mapping of large-scale urban firefights", Proc. SPIE 6209, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications III, 620905 (5 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665310; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.665310
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