The Sensor Mortar Network (SMortarNet) is a 60mm Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) mortar designed to give the Squad near real time situational awareness in uncontrolled NLOS environments. SMortarNet is designed to track targets both acoustically and electro optically and can fuse tracks between, the acoustic, EO, and magnetic modalities on board. The system is linked to other mortar nodes and the user via a masterless frequency hopping spread spectrum ad-hoc mesh radio network.
This paper will discuss SMortarNet in the context of a squad level dismounted soldier, its technical capabilities, and its benefit to the small unit Warfighter. The challenges with ballistic remote emplacement of sensitive components and the on board signal processing capabilities of the system will also be covered. The paper will also address how the sensor network can be integrated with existing soldier infrastructure, such as the NettWarrior platform, for rapid transition to soldier systems.
Networks of low power sensors can have many forms, but the more practical networks for warfighters are ad hoc radio-based systems that can be rapidly deployed and can leverage a range of assets available at a given time. The low power long life networks typically have limited bandwidth and may have unreliable communication depending on the network health, which makes autonomous sensors a critical component of the network. SMortarNet reduces data to key information features at the sensor itself. The smart sensing approach enables significant data reduction before transmission, to facilitate sharing data among sensors in challenging environments, without requiring high bandwidth communication channels. When required by the user, SMortarNet can transmit full frame images and streaming audio by using the full network bandwidth.