A small form factor, low cost radar named rScene® has been designed by McQ Inc. for the unattended detection, classification, tracking, and speed estimation of people and vehicles. This article will describe recent performance enhancements added to rScene® and present results relative to detection range and false alarms. Additionally, a low power (<1W) processing scheme is described that allows the rScene® to be deployed for longer duration, while still detecting desired target scenarios. Using the rScene® to detect other targets of interest like boats over water will also be addressed. Lastly, the lack of performance degradation due to hiding the rScene® in various types of concealed scenarios like behind walls, doors, foliage and camouflage material will be addressed. rScene® provides a variety of options to integrate the device into both wired and wireless communication infrastructures. Based on its sophisticated signal processing algorithms to classify targets and reject clutter, it allows for operation in challenging urban environments in which traditional unattended ground sensor modalities are less effective.
The Open Standards for Unattended Sensors (OSUS) program, formerly named Terra Harvest, was launched in 2009 to develop an open, integrated battlefield unattended ground sensors (UGS) architecture that ensures interoperability among disparate UGS components and systems. McQ has developed a power managed controller, which is a rugged fielded device that runs an embedded Linux operating system using an open Java software architecture, runs for over 30 days on a small battery pack, and provides various critical functions including the required management, monitoring, and control functions. The OSUS power managed controller system overview, design, and compatibility with other systems will be discussed.
Proc. SPIE. 8755, Mobile Multimedia/Image Processing, Security, and Applications 2013
KEYWORDS: Mobile devices, Data modeling, Data storage, Telecommunications, Distributed computing, Defense technologies, Performance modeling, Network architectures, Systems modeling, Information security
Based on current trends for both military and commercial applications, the use of mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and
tablets) is greatly increasing. Several military applications consist of secure peer to peer file sharing without a
centralized authority. For these military applications, if one or more of these mobile devices are lost or compromised,
sensitive files can be compromised by adversaries, since COTS devices and operating systems are used. Complete
system files cannot be stored on a device, since after compromising a device, an adversary can attack the data at rest, and
eventually obtain the original file. Also after a device is compromised, the existing peer to peer system devices must still
be able to access all system files.
McQ has teamed with the Cryptographic Engineering Research Group at George Mason University to develop a custom
distributed file sharing system to provide a complete solution to the data at rest problem for resource constrained
embedded systems and mobile devices. This innovative approach scales very well to a large number of network devices,
without a single point of failure. We have implemented the approach on representative mobile devices as well as
developed an extensive system simulator to benchmark expected system performance based on detailed modeling of the
network/radio characteristics, CONOPS, and secure distributed file system functionality. The simulator is highly
customizable for the purpose of determining expected system performance for other network topologies and CONOPS.
Various embedded systems, such as unattended ground sensors (UGS), are deployed in dangerous areas, where they are
subject to compromise. Since numerous systems contain a network of devices that communicate with each other (often
times with commercial off the shelf [COTS] radios), an adversary is able to intercept messages between system devices,
which jeopardizes sensitive information transmitted by the system (e.g. location of system devices). Secret key
algorithms such as AES are a very common means to encrypt all system messages to a sufficient security level, for
which lightweight implementations exist for even very resource constrained devices. However, all system devices must
use the appropriate key to encrypt and decrypt messages from each other. While traditional public key algorithms
(PKAs), such as RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), provide a sufficiently secure means to provide
authentication and a means to exchange keys, these traditional PKAs are not suitable for very resource constrained
embedded systems or systems which contain low reliability communication links (e.g. mesh networks), especially as the
size of the network increases. Therefore, most UGS and other embedded systems resort to pre-placed keys (PPKs) or
other naïve schemes which greatly reduce the security and effectiveness of the overall cryptographic approach. McQ has
teamed with the Cryptographic Engineering Research Group (CERG) at George Mason University (GMU) to develop
an approach using revolutionary cryptographic techniques that provides both authentication and encryption, but on
resource constrained embedded devices, without the burden of large amounts of key distribution or storage.
McQ has developed and delivered numerous unattended ground sensor (UGS) systems for a variety of applications.
The systems provide flexible, wireless communications and numerous options for enabling the user to configure the
system for a specific mission. This flexibility is a two-edged sword as it provides both the intended user with the
functionality they desire, but also a set of vulnerabilities if a malicious user (e.g. political enemy or competitor) would
attempt to disable or reverse engineer the system. McQ has developed various layers of security to address: secure
program and data storage on off-chip non-volatile memory; secure access to JTAG on COTS processors and DSPs
typically incorporated in the design of embedded systems used for remote sensors; authentication of sensors nodes,
relays, and portable user interfaces used in the field that may be compromised; and the management of keys and other
security-related data that is required to be stored and maintained in a distributed system. The associated challenges with
securing embedded systems typically found in UGS will be described, as well as an overview of the solution that was
developed and incorporated into McQ's systems to mitigate the vulnerabilities.
McQ has developed a miniaturized, programmable, ruggedized data collector intended for use in weapon testing or data
collection exercises that impose severe stresses on devices under test. The recorder is designed to survive these stresses
which include acceleration and shock levels up to 100,000 G. The collector acquires and stores up to four channels of
signal data to nonvolatile memory for later retrieval by a user. It is small (< 7 in3), light weight (< 1 lb), and can operate
from various battery chemistries. A built-in menuing system, accessible via a USB interface, allows the user to configure
parameters of the recorder operation, such as channel gain, filtering, and signal offsets, and also to retrieve recorded data
for analysis. An overview of the collector, its features, performance, and potential uses, is presented.
McQ developed for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) a very low-cost iScout® sensor system for detecting people in buildings and caves after military clearing operations to prevent their reuse by adversaries. The mission applications have expanded to include typical field operations such as Force Protection and facility security. To meet a broader mission capability, McQ significantly enhanced the performance of the iScout® Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) system. The enhanced performance includes improvements to the seismic, acoustic, magnetic, and passive infrared sensor processing algorithms and multimodal fusion to improve target classification. Additional features are a new radio frequency (RF) network architecture, built-in global positioning system (GPS) for automatic sensor position reporting, a new rugged watertight case, and an extremely low power consumption electronics design. McQ will describe these enhancements and present data characterizing the performance of the enhanced iScout® sensors.
McQ has developed an advanced sensor system tailored for border monitoring that has been delivered as part of the
SBInet program for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Technology developments that enhance a broad
range of features are presented in this paper, which address the overall goal of the system to improving unattended
ground sensor system capabilities for border monitoring applications. Specifically, this paper addresses a system
definition, communications architecture, advanced signal processing to classify targets, and distributed sensor fusion
McQ has developed a broad based capability to fuse information in a geographic area from multiple sensors to build a
better understanding of the situation. The paper will discuss the fusion architecture implemented by McQ to use many
sensors and share their information. This multi sensor fusion architecture includes data sharing and analysis at the
individual sensor, at communications nodes that connect many sensors together, at the system server/user interface, and
across multi source information available through networked services. McQ will present a data fusion architecture that
integrates a "Feature Information Base" (FIB) with McQ's well known Common Data Interchange Format (CDIF) data
structure. The distributed multi sensor fusion provides enhanced situation awareness for the user.
Determining the location of an explosive event using a networked sensor system within an acceptable accuracy is a
challenging problem. McQ has developed such a system, using a mesh network of inexpensive acoustic sensors. The
system performs a three-dimensional, time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) localization of blasts of various yields in
several different environments. Localization information of the blast is provided to the end user by exfiltration over
satellite communications. The system is able to perform accurately in the presence of various sources of error including
GPS position, propagation effects, temperature, and error in determining the time of arrival (TOA). The system design
as well as its performance are presented.
False alarms from individual sensors and duplicate detections from sensors in close proximity provide a user with inaccurate and superfluous information. Responding to all of these detections distracts the user, and also wastes system resources including bandwidth and storage capacity. Fusion can reduce these implications of an unattended sensor system and can occur on three different levels: multi-modal fusion of multiple transducer-based algorithms (including PIR, magnetic, seismic, acoustic, video, and biological/chemical) within a single remote ground sensor to provide a single detection; multi-sensor fusion which combines the detections of several remote ground sensors in a network; and multi-resource fusion which combines multi-modal and multi-sensor fusion with other resources such as historical, media, statistical, and user-defined information. Each level of fusion may be used together or separately to allow for increased sensitivity and a low false alarm rate while conserving power, bandwidth, storage capacity, and user interaction. This paper will describe the design and usage of each level of fusion in a networked unattended ground sensor system.
Acoustic sensing has traditionally been the preferred method for the detection and classification of ground vehicles. However, environmental conditions such as wind and rain pose a great challenge to prevent false detections and misclassifications. The recent work of McQ System Innovations has demonstrated the ability to successfully detect and classify vehicles with the fusion of seismic and magnetic sensing without false detections and only a small percentage of misclassifications. The algorithms developed were designed to detect single vehicles as well as vehicles in a convoy. Based on the classification of each vehicle, an imager can be triggered to find the best frame of the target, and store the image in onboard memory to send back to an operator display. The methodology of the algorithms designed for seismic/magnetic detection and classification of vehicles is shown, as well as results of testing the algorithms running in a remote sensor.