SLATE is an Autonomous Sensor Module (ASM) designed to work with the SAPIENT system providing accurate location tracking and classifications of targets that pass through its field of view. The concept behind the SLATE ASM is to produce a sensor module that provides a complementary view of the world to the camera-based systems that are usually used for wide area surveillance. Cameras provide a hi-fidelity, human understandable view of the world with which tracking and identification algorithms can be used. Unfortunately, positioning and tracking in a 3D environment is difficult to implement robustly, making location-based threat assessment challenging. SLATE uses a Scanning Laser Rangefinder (SLR) that provides precise (<1cm) positions, sizes, shapes and velocities of targets within its field-of-view (FoV). In this paper we will discuss the development of the SLATE ASM including the techniques used to track and classify detections that move through the field of view of the sensor providing the accurate tracking information to the SAPIENT system. SLATE’s ability to locate targets precisely allows subtle boundary-crossing judgements, e.g. on which side of a chain-link fence a target is. SLATE’s ability to track targets in 3D throughout its FoV enables behavior classification such as running and walking which can provide an indication of intent and help reduce false alarm rates.
Currently, most land Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets (e.g. EO/IR cameras) are simply data collectors. Understanding, decision making and sensor control are performed by the human operators, involving high cognitive load. Any automation in the system has traditionally involved bespoke design of centralised systems that are highly specific for the assets/targets/environment under consideration, resulting in complex, non-flexible systems that exhibit poor interoperability. We address a concept of Autonomous Sensor Modules (ASMs) for land ISR, where these modules have the ability to make low-level decisions on their own in order to fulfil a higher-level objective, and plug in, with the minimum of preconfiguration, to a High Level Decision Making Module (HLDMM) through a middleware integration layer. The dual requisites of autonomy and interoperability create challenges around information fusion and asset management in an autonomous hierarchical system, which are addressed in this work. This paper presents the results of a demonstration system, known as Sensing for Asset Protection with Integrated Electronic Networked Technology (SAPIENT), which was shown in realistic base protection scenarios with live sensors and targets. The SAPIENT system performed sensor cueing, intelligent fusion, sensor tasking, target hand-off and compensation for compromised sensors, without human control, and enabled rapid integration of ISR assets at the time of system deployment, rather than at design-time. Potential benefits include rapid interoperability for coalition operations, situation understanding with low operator cognitive burden and autonomous sensor management in heterogenous sensor systems.
We present the design for a new detector configuration, specifically tailored to suit the needs of prospective Laue Lens
Gamma-ray astronomy missions in the 10keV to 1MeV energy range. A Laue Lens uses transmission diffraction
through crystal planes to focus the incoming gamma-rays. Diffraction is highly energy dependant and in order to
recreate high resolution images, very accurate measurements of the total energy of the incident photon are necessary, as
well as good spatial resolution. The aim is to absorb all the Compton scattered products of the incoming photons. The
design uses a cavity geometry with the main germanium pixilated imaging detector embedded position sensitive cavity.
The germanium is then enclosed in a veto to reduce background and to clean the imaging of unwanted non-photopeak
events. This allows the majority of backscattered photons to be captured producing a detector with a photopeak
efficiency of ~90% at 511keV and millimetric spatial resolution. The detector system has the added advantage that it
functions extremely efficiently as a gamma-ray polarimeter.