Physical protection of the camp is the ultimate barrier against an opponent's attack, but identifying and acting upon a threat from the longest possible range is still the best way to reduce risks for camp occupants. To provide optimal coverage to sensors, and thereby reduce the numbers required, and to fully exploit their operational range, height is an essential parameter. If deployed at perimeter wall height, radars and electro-optical sensors will suffer limitations from dead angles and obstacles.
This has led to two types of solutions being currently fielded in Afghanistan, following their first fielding in Iraq: towers and aerostats. A desert environment is obviously an ideal setting for the deployment of such systems, although sand storms can reduce visibility to nil, but this would anyhow affect ground-level sensors.
Within the solutions that are part of the US Persistent Surveillance and Dissemination System of Systems aimed at improving protection to forward bases, we find the Raid (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) towers and 'blimp" systems. The initial aerostat fielded within the Raid system was the Tcom 17M, able to fly up to a 300-metre altitude with a 90-kg payload. Deployed by two or three men in two hours or less, it can stay aloft for one week. A known limitation of aerostats is their sensitivity to strong winds; but the Tcom 17M can operate in 40-kt winds and even survive a 55-kt gust.
To meet requirements for larger blimps with higher payload capacities and operating heights, Teem has a series of aerostats ranging from the 22M. able to fly at 300 metres for ten days with a 50-kt operational limit (part of the US Armv Persistent Ground Surveillance System (PGSS) programme) to the 38M, with a 14-day endurance and a 400-kg payload capacity at 900-metre ceiling (or 225 kg at 1500 metres), while the 71M 1 can reach over 5000 metres and stay in position for over a month, although this requires more work for site construction. Over 300 Raid towers have been deployed by the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Another American manufacturer is Lighter Than Air Systems (Ltas), whose systems are based on the Kingfisher tethered balloon developed by Aerial Products through collaboration with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The Kingfisher Balloon can be scaled to lift as much as 200 pounds, and Ltas proposes its high-end systems such as the Ltas 200 and 300 (the number referring to their payload capacity in pounds) with a dual-sensor gyro-stabilised camera for military applications, since force protection is one of their main missions.
A nation that relies on lighter-than-air for its security is definitely Israel, which operates a surveillance system based on Aeronautics1 Skystar 300 aerostat, a system capable of keeping a 30-kg payload at 300 metres for 72 hours, requiring only a ten-minute top-up of helium before relaunching the aerostat for a further three-day mission. The typical payload comes in the form of a three-axis stabilised day/night sensor suite.
As said above, elevated persistent surveillance can be also provided by fixed towers that optimise sensor position along the camp perimeter. Tower Solutions proposes three versions of self-erecting towers, respectively with six, twelve and 24-metre heights and payload capacities ranging from 63 to more than 900 kg. The two smaller towers can be installed respectively on a Humvee category vehicle or a pick-up truck. Designed to sustain high wind ratings with minimal sway, when used in stationary mode they allow easy maintenance of the sensors and equipment they carry.
Sensors carried by aerostats and towers are typically day/night optronic suites or radars, often integrated with laser rangefinders that, together with the image geo-locaisation, provide targeting information. One of the main suppliers of such systems is Flir Systems, whose products are installed on many of the US force protection systems.
The Star Safire III analogue suite includes a cooled 640 x 512 sensor operating in the 3-5 [micro]m wavelength with a field of view of between 0.35[degrees] and 25[degrees], a colour CCD camera with a 2.7[degrees] to 28[degrees] field of view, a spotter scope with a 0.29[degrees] to 5.4[degrees] field of view and an image intensified low-light camera with a field of view of 0.7[degrees] to 5.4[degrees] (the latter two matched to the infrarecTs field of view), a laser rangefinder with a 25-km range, a laser illuminator and a laser pointer. This suite is installed on the US Marine Corps' Ground Based Operational Surveillance System, on the US Army Raid, Raid-Eagle Eye, Cerberus and the Base Expeditionary Targeting & Surveillance Sensors-Combined.
The Star Safirc HD is the high-definition all-digital version that includes a 1280 x 720 sensor thermal imager with a 0.25[degrees] to 30[degrees] field of view, a 1280 x 720 CCD-TV camera with a 0.25[degrees] to 29[degrees] field of view, a 0.25[degrees] field of view spotter scope, a colour near IR CCD low light camera with a 1.5[degrees] to 55[degrees] field of view and the same laser systems as the Star Safire III.
Besides these long-range systems other Flir medium- and close-range sensors such as the Thermovision 3000 and the Sentry are used on US force protection systems as well as on other countries' similar systems.
Controp of Israel developed the Speed-A, a purpose-made stabilised pay-load for aerostats that includes thermal imaging with continuous zoom, a colour daylight TV camera, an eyesafe laser rangefinder and a laser pointer. The Israeli company designed the Speed-A as light as possible as it operates on board the Aeronautics Skystar 300.
Rada of Israel announced in mid-June 2011 the development of the new RHS-40, optimised for forward-base defence. This pulse-doppler aesa radar is proposed as a Multimission Hemisphere Surveillance Radar (MHSR) as it is capable of detecting rocket, artillery and mortar rounds, establishing the point of origin and the point of impact, direct-attack weapons such as anti-tank missiles and rocket-propelled grenades as well as the typical field surveillance targets that are soldiers on foot and vehicles (the latter two with detection ranges respectively of eight and 20 km).
To cover 360[degrees] detection it combines four flat-panel antennas that can be mounted on a single assembly or spread in an array, each element covering 90[degrees] in azimuth and 80[degrees] in elevation. The new system is scheduled to be available in October 2011.
Again in Israel, Israel Aerospace Industries' subsidiary Elta developed the EL/M-2083 radar specifically for aerostat use.The sensor is derived from the EL/M-2080 Green Pine designed for the Arrow theatre ballistic missile defence system and k able to detect low- and high-flying targets with its phased array 3D radar, the range is estimated at about 500 km. In service with Israel since mid-2000, in 2009 it was acquired by India and a third undisclosed customer acquired at least two systems in 2010.
Coming to ground sensors, Sagem recently introduced its Teos, for Territory Electro-Optic Surveillance system, a day and night long-range observation system that is available in different configurations according to the observation range, with Teos XM for very-long-range detection out to 20 km, LR (Long Range) out to 15 km and MR (Medium Range) to ten km. Sensors are Sagem Matis 3rd or 4th-generation high-resolution thermal.
The Sagem Teos can be easily installed onto a vehicle or on an observation tower and it features auto scanning, movement detection and tracking modes. The Sagem Jim LR long-range multi-function binocular that includes day and thermal (3-5 pm) vision, telemeter, laser pointer, GPS and magnetic compass, is used in Afghanistan in the camp protection role.
DRS proposes its Watchmaster Pro, a turret featuring the Quickset QPT-LT dual side-mount positioner, which can be configured with single or multiple camera blocks for day and night capability. A quick-change camera system allows replacing cameras as a true plug-and-play system. The standard system includes a DRS uncooled thermal camera and a daylight colour camera.
The Thales Teoss was a night-only sensor born for naval use but is now also employed for land applications in the non-stabilised version. Azimuth movement is [+ or -] 170[degrees] although a 360[degrees] continuous movement is available as option, while elevation is -257+45[degrees]. The sensors used are the Albatross cooled thermal imager. The whole system has a weight of less than eleven kg.
Argon ST developed the Towerscout, a rugged detection and surveillance system aimed at operating on poles or towers in extreme environments. It is equipped with a three-field of view (1.2[degrees], 5[degrees] and 22[degrees]) cooled thermal camera and a colour CCD camera with a x27 zoom. A laser range finder can be added and an uncooled camera can replace the standard TI sensor. The svstcm interface unit provides network connectivity and image stabilisation.
The Thales Wasp (Wide Area Surveillance Platform) is dedicated to camp protection missions. Mounted on a trailer, it can be deployed in less than 30 minutes as the sensor is mounted on a telescopic mast. The head includes a thermal camera, a TV camera, a laser rangefinder and a laser pointer, as well as an integrated GPS and a north-finding system. Systems such as a radar, acoustic sensors or unattended ground sensors can be integrated into the system, optronic sensors thus being slaved automatically or manually to the target acquired by such systems.
Selex Galileo provides a similar solution in the form of the Observer 100; also trailer mounted, with a mast that can bring the payload up to eleven metres in height, it is equipped with a 3rd-gen thermal camera with a detection range against humans of 10.2 km and a recognition range of 3.4 km, a colour camera with a detection range of nine km and three km recognition range. The ground surveillance radar provides a detection range of 2,7 km for a man and 4.8 km for a vehicle, laser rangefinder with up to 20 km range being proposed as option.
As for ground surveillance radars, numerous options are available. Among the most recent entries is the Thales GO80 (Ground Observer 80) that can detect a heavy vehicle at 50 km, a light vehicle at 34 km and a man at 24 km. Operating in I Band it can be split into two man-portable elements. Its 1.6-metre-wide rotating antenna covers 360[degrees], although the radar can be programmed to scan specific sectors.
Formerly known as TRGS-Sec, the Cassidian Spexer 2000 is an aesa system that covers a 120[degrees] sector without mechanical scanning. Operating in X-band with a dual beam that provides a track-and-scan mode, it can detect a vehicle at 36 km, a human target at 18 km and a small drone at nine kilometres. In naval mode it can detect a swimmer at one kilometre and a small rubber boat at 20.
Selex Sisterm Integrati Lyra 10 X-band radar has a typical detection range of 24 km and covers a maximum sector of [+ or -] 180[degrees] which can be reduced to [+ or -] 6[degrees]. Man-portable, the antenna group weighs less than 25 kg, it has been shown mounted on a quad-bike and thus can easily be deployed to protect even small encampments.
DRS Technologies, part of Finmeccanica, has in its inventory the AN/PPS-5C Manportable Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar (Mstar). Combat proven in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans, it weighs 38.7 kg--the heaviest element being the 13-kg main electronics assembly--it can be deployed in less than five minutes. Operating in the Ku Band, it has a surveillance range from 100 metres to 42 km, features a zoom mode on a 1.5 x 1.5 km window and can be used for indirect fire correction up to 15 km. It can locate a walking man up to eleven km, a light vehicle at 24 and a heavy vehicle at 36, with an accuracy of [+ or -]10 metres in range and [+ or -] 5 mils in azimuth.
ICx Technologies, part of Flir since 2010, developed a whole range of remote detection and tracking radars. These range from the STS-350 perimeter surveillance radar that can detect a low crawling person at 125 metres, a person crawling on hands and knees at 200 and a walking or running person at 350. Running on two batteries it can operate for twelve to 20 hours and weighs 45 kg. The STS-350 can be mounted on vehicles or trailers for rapid deployment, and up to 24 such radars can be connected in a network. An extended range option to 700 metres is also available. Over 1200 STS-350s are being operated for homeland security and military purposes.
The LSR-5000 perimeter surveillance radar was designed to meet the hard desert environment and has a detection range of up to 5000 metres for vehicles, low-crawling or swimming personnel being detected at 500 metres while walking personnel are delected at 3000 metres. It operates in the Ka-Band providing a 0.7-metre ranee and 1[degrees] azimuth resolution, and its weight is 18 kg.
The lone range member of the familv is the STS-12000 with improved fast scan capability that can detect a vehicle at twelve km and walking humans at nearly ten km. Proposed by Israeli Aeronautics as the radar sensor for its Persistence Surveillance System it weighs about 300 kg and is often installed on a trailer with a raising platform to improve its coverage.
All the above-mentioned radars, as well as the other members of the familv such as the STS-700,1400,2800 and 4400, can operate in a network.
In Israel Elisra, which recently became fully owned by Elbit Systems, has recently unveiled its new Foxtrack portable ground surveillance radar system. This lightweight, compact, man-portable radar is carried by two operators and can function either in a tripod-mounted con figuration or installed onboard a vehicle. The Foxtrack has been designed to provide surveillance at medium to long ranges, detecting a soldier at eight km distance and a small vehicle at 15.
The latest success of Raytheon BBN in the acoustic sensors field is the contract worth $ 54.3 million signed by the US Army to provide Boomerang III sniper detection and perimeter defence systems for troops involved in the Afghan campaign. Based on a series of microphones and acoustic triangulation to locate enemy snipers and other small-arms fire, the Boomerang III enables allied forces to shoot back quickly and with maximum accuracy as it reports incoming fire and the relative shooter position, including elevation.
The 01dB-Metravib Pilar Mk IIw was until now based on two antennas linked to an electronic box that was itself linked to a laptop showing the threat location with a [+ or -]2[degrees] azimuth accuracy and a [+ or -]5[degrees] elevation accuracy. Following some comparative trials with other systems the Bundeswehr decided to acquire the French product, but required the possibility to network a greater number of sensors in order to have a single operator manning the whole net.
The company started working on that requirement and after a halt due to some change in priorities it obtained a multi-million Euro contract in March 201 l.The system will protect a 1 x 1 kilometre camp (probably Urkuz) and will deploy 16 antennas, four per side, linked to the electronic box, which in turn will be linked to the central unit by fibre-optic cable. Deliveries will start in October 2011 and will finish before year-end. The antennas will be installed on observation rotating turrets equipped with thermal imagers, TV day channel, laser rangefinder, GPS provided by Aim of Germany.
Microflown proposes its Border/Perimeter Control based on compact, three-dimensional sound probes that can measure the acoustic vector, allowing to immediately detect a threat within a range often km. Multiple systems can be installed along the area to be protected, with a spacing slightly less than ten km. In a few seconds the system is able to establish the location of the threat as well as its estimated trajectory and time of arrival.
Command and Control
The above-mentioned sensors as well as today's infrared sensors, seismic and acoustic sensors are all required to be integrated into some type of command and control system--one that allows the personnel responsible for camp protection to detect any possible threat with time to positively identify it and react according to the established rules of engagement.
Originally deployed by the Dutch Army in Afghanistan in 2006, the Discus (Deployable Integrated Sensors for CompoUnd Security) developed by Thales was later acquired by Canada in 2009. The system incorporates the Thales BOR-A550/560 long-range radars and Squire man-portable radars as well as optronic sensors. Thales also developed the Spectre, a demonstrator aimed at the French military.
Rheinmetall, Thales and Diehl Defence were also selected for the Seo (Schutz von Einrichtungen und Objekten), the Bundeswehr camp protection system, Thales Germany being responsible for the [Musec.sup.2] (MUlti-SEnsor Command & Control), the open system that interfaces all types of sensor, as well as the MobUT (Mobile Uberwachungs-Technik), the perimeter system protection. The three companies are also responsible for the Zosa (Zentrale Operative Schutzaufgaben), which is the heart of the Seo.
Cassidian is proposing its Dome (Defence Of Mission critical Entities), which includes an Operations Cell for Infrastructure Protection with a combi nation of array and sensors as well as effectors to ensure timely detection and identification and proportionate response. These are only a few examples of those open architecture C2 systems that are currently being developed to allow optimal management of sensors and effectors currently available for camp protection.