Future Combat Systems Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS)


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A future UGS generation is currently under development for the US Army Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. FCS UGS are expected to function in several roles, including perimeter defense, surveillance, target acquisition, and situational awareness, including Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) early warning. The FCS program will include a range of remote sensing capabilities, including expendable imaging and non imaging sensors, seismic, acoustic and magnetic sensors. Recoverable sensors will be “smarter”, capable of target identification, some will be remotely controlled, providing gateway, signal processing and fusion capabilities. These sensors will enhance the Future Force commander’s intelligence picture. Special FCS sensors are designed for urban operations. These will be network-enabled, leave behind reporting systems utilized for force protection in urban setting, providing residual protection for cleared areas, ambushes and other urban contingencies. These miniature, low cost devices will be equipped with integral communications and gateways ensuring dependable communications in urban environment. FCS UGS will become an integral component of the new system’s layered sensor network. FCS will utilize persistent, remotely deployable sensors for threat warning, situational awareness and force protection in both tactical and urban environments. Providing target detection, location, tracking and identification services, these sensors will be designed with integral wireless communications, comprising self webbing, self healing network capabilities. FCS UGS will become an integral part of the FCS Unit of Action Network and contribute an essential and continuous information feed to help create and update the unit’s Common Operating Picture (COP).

The FCS Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) program is divided into two major subgroups of sensing systems: Tactical-UGS (T-UGS), which includes Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)-UGS and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN)-UGS; and Urban-UGS (U-UGS), also known as Urban Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) Advanced Sensor System.

Tactical UGS systems are self-organizing networks of remotely deployed, long-range sensors that enhance perimeter defenses of military bases and other facilities. The sensors are also used to provide over-watch surveillance of a particular area or point-of-interest. An Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) field will include low-cost, expendable and multimode sensors for target detection, location and classification; and an imaging capability for target identification. A sensor field will also include a gateway node to provide sensor fusion and long-haul communications capability for transmitting target or other information to a remote operator, or the common operating picture through the FCS Modular Force Network. The Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) can be used to perform mission tasks such as perimeter defense, surveillance, target acquisition and situational awareness (SA), including Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) early warning.

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