Army builds new sensor system to keep roads safe in war zones

The Army is building a new system to counter threats from enemy explosives buried in or beside roadways in war zones that works in conjunction with radars.

The Shadow Class Infrared Spectral Sensor-Ground, known as SCISSOR-G, would enable soldiers on a route clearance patrol to achieve greater standoff ranges during missions, according to officials with the Signal and Image Processing Branch of the Army's Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (CERDEC NVESD).

The new anti-improvised explosive device strategy works by having SCISSOR-G check a region of interest for suspected threats and marking them. Then, the danger zone is further interrogated by the radar as the vehicle gets closer to the threat.

The SCISSOR-G equipment offers greater threat detection in front of a route clearance patrol vehicle on which it is mounted as opposed to the protection the vehicle would have without it, officials said.

The Army recently deployed the SCISSOR-G prototype to theater for 90 days of test and evaluation, officials said.

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization requested that CERDEC NVESD take an existing sensor designed for detection from the air and adapt it for use on a ground vehicle, officials said.
 
The SCISSOR-G consists of a sensor and a multi-sensor graphical user interface. The sensor is mounted on a vehicle, usually a Husky, using a 10-inch turret with infrared and high-definition color cameras. The multi-sensor graphical user interface has a touch screen monitor to control the turret and cameras.

The multi-sensor graphical user interface is flexible enough to enable the sensor control and data visualization to be on the same vehicle as the turret or in a trailing vehicle. The two components of the system enable a single operator to monitor the roadway for threats in real time, officials said.

When SCISSOR-G is configured for two vehicles, commands and data are transmitted via a radio link. If the operator of the multi-sensor graphical user interface in the sensor vehicle detects a threat, he would alert the lead-vehicle driver to a specific area for threat confirmation.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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