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Review of annual reporting on the Reconnaissance and Surveillance / Communication research programmes

armasuisse Science and Technology’s annual reporting on the Reconnaissance and Surveillance as well as Communication research programmes took place in Thun on Thursday, 30 March 2023. This was an internal DDPS event. Around 100 specialists were present and used the opportunity for an in-depth exchange of ideas.

05.04.2023 | Lucas Ballerstedt, specialist area Innovation and Processes, Competence Domain Science and Technology

A drone is resting on a table in front of a poster about the "Reconnaissance and Surveillance" research program.

The latest findings and activities of the research projects are presented internally to the DDPS at the annual reporting events. This promotes knowledge sharing within the department and makes an important contribution to cooperation.

Each year, representatives from the armasuisse Science and Technology (S+T) research programmes present their activities and projects from the respective programmes. This year’s series of annual reports kicked off with the Reconnaissance and Surveillance research programmes as well as the Communication research programme. Around 100 experts from the DDPS were present and used this opportunity to learn about the latest findings from the research areas and to promote the exchange of knowledge.

Where do we stand in the area of Reconnaissance and Surveillance?

The research programme manager Peter Wellig, armasuisse S+T, held the opening speech and welcomed the guests. He gave those present an overview of the «Reconnaissance and Surveillance» research programme and outlined its fields of activity and competences in more detail. Following this, researchers from the Remote Sensing Laboratories at the University of Zurich presented the results of their activities last year. They were thus able to report on experiments on planes with radar research sensors. The morning was rounded off with talks by Martin Schürch, Roland Oechslin and Matthias Renker, armasuisse S+T. They discussed the last international trial with the NATO research organisation for detecting drone swarms in Norway, as well as the latest developments for the calibration and deception of C-UAV radar devices.

C-UAV radar devices are systems which can recognise and localise smaller commercial drones.

Communication is more than a smartphone

The afternoon was dedicated to the «Communication» research programme and started with a welcome speech by research programme manager Christof Schüpbach, armasuisse S+T. To begin with, he showed the guests a picture of the first transistor from 1947 and contrasted it with the current state of development to illustrate the speed of technological change. Today, data transmission is more important than ever and has an immense impact on our life. With a smartphone, we can be reached at any time and any place, which was unthinkable in the past. This factor, which is a matter of course in civilian life, is often still lacking in military communication systems and in order to overcome this shortcoming, investment in research is essential. In the second talk, Laurent Nagy, armasuisse S+T, explained why precise time synchronisation is important and what is being researched for this purpose. The aim is to enable time synchronisation precisely to within billionths of a second. Meriem El Hosni, armasuisse S+T, then held a presentation on how war gaming can be linked with Command and Control projects and which activities have already been carried out as part of this research project, as well as those which are pending. In her talk, she emphasised that sound, close cooperation between the stakeholders, in this case predominantly representatives of the Armed Forces and those from armasuisse, is very important for a successful end product. The afternoon was rounded off by the presentation from Petr Motlicek, from the IDIAP Research Institute, about automatic voice analysis for radio communication.

For all those present, these annual face-to-face meetings are extremely important, as they consolidate mutual exchange and promote cooperation.

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