A new cooperative research and development program to advance Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection technologies was recently launched under the auspices of the European Defence Agency (EDA).
Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Poland, and Norway signed an agreement on Dec. 26, 2017 for the 3-year IED Detection (IEDDET) ad hoc development program with a total budget of €14 million ($14.9m USD).
Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) was confirmed as a top priority in the EDA Capability Development Plan revision of 2014. The launch of the IEDDET program is part of the practical implementation of this priority in terms of technology development and seen as a crucial step towards improving existing C-IED capabilities.
The IEDDET program encompasses three main projects:
- UGV Stand-Off Multi-Sensor Platform for IED Component Detection (MUSICODE): This project will develop new unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) stand-off capabilities for detection of IED components by using remotely operated multisensory platforms.
- Vehicle Mounted Early Warning of Indirect Indicators of IEDs (VMEWI3): This project will focus on the detection of indirect indicators with forward looking camera systems based on remotely operated unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) platforms with multi-camera head. The UGV platform will be controlled from a manned vehicle. The aim is to detect indicators of IED presence even while moving with a speed of at least 20-30 km/h to enhance early warning capacity.
- Confirmation, Identification and Airborne Early Warning of IEDs (CONFIDENT): The objectives of this project are to focus on the confirmation and the identification of relevant components of IEDs including electronic parts, explosives and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) payloads prior to the release of the agents and to provide complementary early warning capability. The demonstrators will be based on remotely operated platforms (robot and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV). The UAV will be used for airborne early warning.
In order to ensure the coherence and interoperability between the projects, an offline detection map will be produced and shared to best explore the full set of information available for future route clearance operations and the program will be concluded by a joint demonstration.
IEDDET will involve technology companies, academic institutions as well as governmental and non-governmental research organizations which will all cooperate under the guidance of a management committee consisting of experts from the contributing EDA Member States.
Article adapted from original announcement by the European Defence Agency.