DARPA Develops Cognitive Threat Detection System for Soldiers
September 22, 2012 11:04 AM
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Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS)
DARPA found that using all three devices in the threat detection unit at the same time helped soldiers detect 91 percent of threats
DARPA is currently testing a new way for soldiers to
from far away via cognitive tools.
Currently, soldiers can depend on drones and advanced radar to keep an eye on surrounding threats, but neither of these instruments are available 24/7. Instead, soldiers are left with cameras, portable radars or binoculars to spot an oncoming attack, but DARPA reports that these tools lead to a 47 percent or greater miss rate because they just don't advance human vision enough.
To address these issues, DARPA created the Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS) program back in 2008. As a result of that, a CT2WS toolkit has been developed for use on the battlefield.
The CT2WS toolkit has three main devices: a video camera with 120 megapixels, 120-degree field of view, tripod and electro-optical capabilities; cognitive visual processing algorithms that detect threats and run on laptops, and a electroencephalogram (EEG) cap that checks the soldier's
and records when a threat is detected.
The prototype was tested in Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, tropical terrain in Hawaii and open terrain in California's Camp Roberts. During testing, DARPA found that using all three devices at the same time helped soldiers detect 91 percent of threats.
Also, the system had a very low false alarm rate. The tools are capable of understanding that a bird flying by is just a bird; not a threat. According to testing of the CT2WS unit, the devices returned only about 5 false alarms per hour. Before the EEG cap, this number was about 810 false alarms per hour.
"DARPA set out to solve a common challenge for forward troops: how can you reliably detect potential threats and targets of interest without making it a resource drain?" said Gill Pratt, DARPA program manager. "The prototype system has demonstrated an extremely low false alarm rate, a detection rate in the low nineties, all while reducing the load on the operator."
DARPA will continue testing the CT2WS system, shipping it over to the Army's Night Vision Lab next.
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9/24/2012 4:48:36 PM
Soldiers will use technology if it makes sense for them to do so. Just look at gunshot detectors on military transports. Soldiers LOVE those because it gives them an immediate and extremely accurate threat assessment, although it doesn't work until they are being fired on.
Imagine taking all of the detection data used over years of testing and putting it into a small self-contained device which has a very high degree of threat detection confidence, supported by a larger military unit with real-time information feeding into it. You can have small military units performing missions; having tremendous situational awareness and the opportunity to remove threats before they can pose real danger.
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