An advanced situational awareness system developed by engineers at BAE Systems enables a tank’s crew to see through their vehicle’s armour.
The BattleView 360 system, which is on show at this week’s DSEI exhibition in London, combines a head-mounted display with cameras on the outside of the vehicle to give an unobstructed view of the surrounding terrain.
The technology then uses communications systems and digital mapping technology to augment this view with real-time data on a host of surrounding features of interest.
The system can be accessed via a head mounted display as well a head-down touch screen display that can be used by commanders to assess information and view the displays of other crew members and even other vehicles, such as unmanned drones that may be patrolling the area.
BAE claims that this will enable a vehicle commander to make rapid informed decisions and communicate these decisions to other vehicles.
The technology has been developed by BAE’s Swedish subsidiary Hägglunds.
Dan Lindell, one of the engineers behind the system told The Engineer that it offers considerable advantages over existing technologies. “It’s a huge difference,” he said, “‘You get proper see through armour and with augmented reality. You get blue forces and red forces tracking and the correct geographical data just by looking through the armour.”
Lindell added that by coupling all of the information with 3D map data, the system is able to plot and identify safe routes for vehicles. “For instance”, he said, “if you have a high point scout that you want to sneak by, if you have that 3D data the driver would be able to see the route. That has never been seen before.’
The system has been designed to be compatible with a range of existing vehicles and communication technologies. According to Lindell it is currently under trial with a number of users and the firm is continuing to refine the technology before it enters full production.
BAE has also revealed that engineers in the UK are working on a related “intelligent turret” system. The firm said that this technology is being developed to free up armoured vehicle crews to concentrate on the battlefield. A spokesperson declined to confirm whether this will include some form of autonomous driving capability.