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Defence R&D

Detection of Command Wire Improvised Explosive Devices 

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are commonly detonated via a length of conductor (known as a command wire) buried under the soil. Detection of a command wire is, effectively, detection of an IED. C-CORE has for several years worked toward developing technology for detecting Command Wire IEDs (CWIEDs).

Detection of Command Wires via Radio Frequency Scattering 

C-CORE has developed a novel means of remotely detecting this wire using common global communications infrastructure. AM radio towers, which are located worldwide, broadcast at wavelengths that are picked up by and induce a current within a command wire, causing it to reradiate a secondary magnetic field.  Having developed a rigorous theoretical model to predict the strength of the reradiated field under defined circumstances, C-CORE created a full software simulation, which has been run using various input parameters in order to predict “typical” field strengths, and produce functional specifications for a receiver unit that can detect the command wires by detecting reradiated secondary magnetic fields. A functional prototype of a receiver was developed and tested in 2012. From this, C-CORE designed a fully operational handheld command wire detection (CWD) unit; this prototype is now being constructed.

The design is based on a gradiometric configuration with two magnetic field sensors (receiver coils) mounted at a fixed distance from one another, relying on a fixed transmitter of opportunity (such as an AM radio station) radiating sufficient power to induce currents in the buried command wires. The premise for this design is that the transmitter is in or near the target environment, but far enough away from the command wire that the electromagnetic wave, on arriving at the target, can be considered a plane wave. An operator then moves the paired sensors through the target environment as a passive device to detect the magnetic fields radiating from the command wires due to the induced current. As the detector is moved through the target environment, highly localized magnetic fields create a large differential signal between the two receiver coils, indicating the potential presence of a CWIED. The location can then be marked for follow-up action as required.  

Video Target Tracking

The use of surveillance platforms has become an important element in today's security-conscious world.  This is true in both the military and civilian domains.  Video imagery is used extensively as a surveillance tool; processing the imagery can yield critical security information.

C‑CORE has developed a methodology for automatically tracking targets from a video feed provided by either manned or unmanned airborne vehicles.  This provides a foundation on which to build intelligent tracking algorithms that can provide control inputs to the sensor platform to maintain target surveillance, provide a basis for development of automated identification and threat assessment capabilities, and link with other intelligence sources to provide improved situational awareness for military commanders. Similar capabilities can be extended to civilian security systems that rely on video feeds to monitor infrastructure for public protection.

Vegetation Discrimination for Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Navigation

C‑CORE has developed a real-time vegetation discrimination algorithm and system for use on Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).  Currently, UGV sensors have difficulty in distinguishing between “real” obstacles such as rocks, berms and manmade structures, and traversable terrain cover such as grass, foliage, dry vegetation and bark.  As a result, terrain with vegetation can be interpreted by the autonomous controller as obstacles. Falsely identifying vegetation as obstacles does not imperil a UGV; however, it imposes artificial limits on vehicle mobility.   C‑CORE’s work substantially improves UGV mobility in areas with dense vegetation.