The Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group is calling on Australian industry and universities to develop a new system to combat battlefield threats.
The research opportunity is aiming to develop the Fight Recorder, a system that will significantly reduce the time taken to reach and treat battlefield casualties and to capture the information required to reconstruct the event.
The concept will be developed as a priority under defence’s new $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF), which is designed to provide creative solutions for Australia’s Defence Force.
DST Group said the Fight Recorder is envisaged as a small, light and robust emergency beacon unobtrusively worn by the warfighter to capture the data required for meaningful incident investigation and provide first hand insight into the demands of military service in a deployed environment.
The research group said that when the emergency beacon is activated (by the wearer or a medic) the device connects with low orbit satellites and transmits geo-location. This has a dual purpose – firstly to locate personnel in an emergency (e.g. for casualty evacuation) and secondly to recreate the motion and location of the individual during the event.
The proposed device aims to preserve the recent history of the ‘fight’ by recording dozens of parameters collected several times per second. The data gathered will allow the reconstruction of the warfighter’s gross body movement history and assist in post-event investigation.
With new and unconventional weapons continually evolving, DST Group said the ability to reconstruct incidents will provide vital insights necessary to improvise the protective systems of the warfighter.
DST Group hopes that, when fully developed, the Fight Recorder may also provide benefits in other physically demanding occupations including emergency services and law enforcement.
The Fight Recorder concept falls under the NGTF’s targeted science and technology area of Enhanced Human Performance.
DST Group said that, to develop this early idea into an innovation concept, two key science and research opportunities have been identified: Reconstructing Warfighter Motion and Warfighter Motion Capture and Beacon Feasibility Study.
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The objective of Reconstructing Warfighter Motion is to develop efficient computational methods using principled approaches that enable reconstruction of gross body motion with a high probability of correct movement classification, and low false classification rates.
The aim of Warfighter Motion Capture and Beacon Feasibility Study is to develop a set of critical hardware components and to use them in demonstrating the feasibility of capturing, storing and transmitting human motion data and the status and geolocation of a soldier.
Applications close on Thursday, 30 March 2017, with final applicants to be determined by Thursday, 12 May 2017.