News story: Position location through environmental recognition

VECTis LLP has used Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding to find a way to enable the rapid location of an autonomous marine vehicle when there’s no access to satellite-based positioning systems.

PASER - Position Acquisition through Statistical Environmental Recognition – uses information extracted from images which are collected on commercially available cameras.

The developed system has both minimal battery and computational power requirements – both key for use in autonomous marine situations. Data collected from sea trials has been used within an experimental demonstrator to show the accuracy and speed of the PASER system.

Future work is focused on increasing the speed of a refined positional estimate and further reducing the size, weight and computational requirements of the system. These benefits, combined with the advantage of only using passive sensors will support the use of PASER in many different industries.

The initial focus for the PASER system within the CDE competition was that of a GPS-denied battle space environment. As the research and development of the system progressed, it became apparent that the PASER system could be usefully deployed to support target acquisition and also be used in non-marine environments such as GPS-degraded environments where drones can often become ineffective.

Within the marine environment, but moving outside of defence, PASER could be used to support underwater navigation close to shore or harbours. Finally, it’s hoped that PASER could be used to support rapid environmental change detection, such as following a natural disaster and thereby support disaster zone assessment.

Peter Keen, Partner, VECTis LLP says:

The funding and support we got from CDE has provided us with the support to develop our fundamental research capability and diversify our work, transforming us from a niche supplier into a consortium lead working within the defence marketplace. CDE has been a catalyst for presenting our capabilities, expertise and novel solution to a current problem to companies, research leads and programmes that we never thought possible.
About CDE

CDE funds novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research. We work with the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to develop cost-effective capabilities for UK armed forces and national security.

CDE is part of Dstl.

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