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Sensor Technology

The Armed Forces need up-to-date command and control, reconnaissance and surveillance situation pictures in order to be able to take important decisions quickly in a defense scenario. The very latest sensors can capture immediate situations. Our experts specify and evaluate the capabilities of currently available and future sensor systems operating across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The ability of these sensors to meet the stringent technological requirements for use in complex environments, subject to severe interference, is examined in our unique measuring infrastructure.


UAV signature measurement with synthetic-aperture radar in Thun

UAV signature measurement with synthetic-aperture radar in Thun

High-resolution radar systems with working frequencies in the upper GHz range are increasingly being used for medium-distance reconnaissance. In October 2017, S+T conducted an extensive series of measurements using the existing measuring infrastructure to determine the angle-dependent radar signature.

Factsheet 1

The Energy Act – new airspace targets

The Energy Act – new airspace targets

Wind turbines can interfere with airspace surveillance systems such as primary and secondary radars. S+T is continuously expanding its assessment expertise in order to advise the GS DDPS and the Air Force on assessing possible interference. Thus industrial and scientific findings as well as its own experience – such as that gained from experiments – must be incorporated as far as possible into the assessments.


Factsheet 2

Proof-of-concept trial of special-purpose infrared camouflage suits for individuals

Proof-of-concept trial of special-purpose in-frared camouflage suits for individuals

A Swiss industrial company has produced a specimen camouflage suit for S+T using a special fabric treated with a newly developed coating. 

The suit’s special camouflage properties are designed with the infrared spectral range in mind. In mid-May, as part of a long-term study, trials were conducted among units at the Monte Cenere training ground with camouflage for individuals. The camouflaging effect of the suits was tested against different backgrounds both visually and using infrared cameras and at different times of day. The test demonstrated the potential advantages of the new coating technology in terms of the camouflage effect as well as the challenges it can be expected to pose for the development team and the degree of comfort for those wearing it.

Factsheet 3

Mobile camouflage investigated on armoured personnel carriers

Two APCs fitted with camouflage kits underway at the Bure training ground

Last November, a camouflage kit for APCs was tested at the Bure training ground. Compared to the simple rectangular camouflage nets currently used (“stationary camouflage”), the additional camouflaging effect was retained even while the vehicle was in motion (“mobile camouflage”).

Camouflaging properties are regularly examined and tested. S+T used a mobile field radar, set at 94 GHz, to test the camouflaging properties of a camouflage kit attached to vehicles by armed forces personnel. The test demonstrated the potential advantages of a mobile camouflage kit for APCs, the difficulties encountered during development work and, in approximate terms, the properties that the kit can be expected to exhibit. The additional weight, the time taken to install the kit and service the vehicle and the impaired driving properties suggest that the design and materials currently available are restrictive.

Factsheet 4

Deployment of S+T's Multi-Sensor Tracking Platform

Multisensor Tracking Platform

Switzerland is an active participant in the Partnership for Peace, a political initiative jointly supported by NATO and 22 partner countries. This is an important forum for Switzerland in terms of security policy. In addition to contributing its own standpoint and sharing information with others, membership also allows Switzerland to participate in international campaigns such as the EMBOW countermeasures campaign. The Swiss S+T  Multi-Sensor Tracking Platform provides a state-of-the-art tool as the core system for the Swiss measurement team during these campaigns.

Factsheet 5

Small drones pose a challenge for radar surveillance

Small drones

Small commercial small drones are becoming ever more affordable. This is one of the reasons why their prevalence and the resulting interest in reliable surveillance solutions have increased dramatically. To better evaluate their effects on and the capabilities of radar as a potential surveillance sensor, S+T has carried out extensive experimental and numerical tests using a small commercially available drone


Factsheet 6

A personnel carrier almost invisible to radar

GMTF im Tarnkit

Camouflage characteristics are regularly investigated and examined. Since August 3 this year, S+T has been measuring the radar signature of an armored personnel carrier (APC) in the test chamber in Thun and will continue to do so until September 11. The measurement infrastructure being used is part of a long-term study investigating just how visible vehicle camouflage characteristics are, in order to produce improvements in camouflage.


Factsheet 7

Radar technology: Project PaBiRa – a study with potential

The test system instrument developed by S+T in use

armasuisse S+T has currently set up a study to investigate the potential and future development of a new radar technology. This will allow an estimate of its potential to be made for the next 10 years. Potential which also, however, poses risks. The knowledge gained has closed existing gaps, something that is of great importance for making sound assessments of passive and bistatic radar systems.

Science and Technology Sensor Technology
Dr. Hans Pratisto
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
CH-3602 Thun
+41 58 468 27 71
+41 58 468 28 41