"Set it and forget it" monitoring system provides remote surveillance
October 12, 2010
- Set-it and forget-it remote monitoring system can be left for years at a time
- The low-cost sensor has minimal SWAP specifications, so it can be setup and operational in less than 15 minutes
- Technology received R&D Achievement Award
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. - The Remote Monitoring System, or RMS, is a wireless remote sentry monitoring sensor developed at the U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command's communication-electronics center, or CERDEC. This quick-reaction capability can be left unattended for years and sends information wirelessly over a far distance to Soldiers at a base station.
RMS was developed for the unattended detecting, geolocating and monitoring of radio frequency signals, said Brian LaRocca, RMS project lead and electronics engineer with CERDEC's Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, or I2WD.
"This is a sensitive receiver that was designed to be a 'set it and forget it' capability," said LaRocca.
The RMS solar powered QRC system is designed to run unattended for four to five years at a time, said Ryan Fillman, I2WD electronics engineer.
The low-cost sensor has minimal size, weight and power specifications, so it can be setup and operational in less than 15 minutes.
The initial need for RMS was brought to the attention of I2WD's Information Network Operations Division by the Army's Rapid Equipping Force based out of Fort Belvoir in early 2009. Recognizing the promise of the technology, I2WD worked to secure funding and began designing and developing the system in March 2009. By September, they had proven the capability, and began refining, said LaRocca.
"There were improvements needed on the sensor before it was sent overseas, and it is a much better product now," said Fillman.
Over the past summer, RMS participated in CERDEC's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance On-the-Move test bed, or C4ISR OTM. During C4ISR OTM Event 10, an event that allows for the integration and testing of C4ISR systems, RMS served as the forward unattended ground sensor and provided initial target detections and tip offs, according to LaRocca.
RMS sent data directly to the Distributed Common Ground Sensor-Army where the data was disseminated and used to task other Army assets. The scenario aimed to demonstrate that RMS could identify where a person of interest was located, send the data to DCGS-A and redistributed it to other platforms that could target that location. Additionally, RMS could serve in a coordinated defense effort with other assets to locate improvised-explosive devices.
The group has already delivered 40 sensors to the Army and are anticipating more requests, said Fillman.
Efforts to further enhance the system continued this past summer when Fillman went to Fort Huachuca, Ariz. where Soldiers spoke positively of the RMS graphical user interface and the system's easy setup, said Fillman.
Additional testing at Fort Huachuca included assessing the electronic susceptibility of the equipment and measuring RMS against environment elements to include temperature, wind and sand.
"RMS was designed to fit a specific need, and additional scenarios have come up during development," LaRocca said. "Now we are getting feedback on how to improve the system and will include that in the next development."
The U.S. Army recognized RMS as one of this year's Army Research and Development Achievement Awards recipients for its "outstanding technical achievement" in an official Army memo Aug. 24.