GLOBAL DEFENSE MARKET
New Tower-Based Fire Detection System Tested
The company moved forward with the new version of the system after a customer request, said Douglas Rombough, vice president of business development at Logos, a Fairfax, Virginia-based defense and technology company.
“The original concept was to have Serenity on aerostats, but the Army Research Lab requested mounted modifications so we segued into this new version,” he said.
Serenity works off a dual-sensor system. It relies on visuals and acoustics to locate the point of origin of enemy fire. It also reduces false alarms, such as a beam of sunlight reflecting off a car window.
Serenity “picks up the flash of a weapon system and automatically knows how soon it should hear a subsequent bang based on the speed of sound,” Rombough said. If the machine doesn’t register a sound after it picks up a flash of light, it recognizes it as a false alarm.
The system’s range is tied to the height of the sensor, so the mounted tower versions of Serenity will have a lower detection range compared to an aerostat that has a coverage of 2,000 to 3,000 feet, said Frank Plew, Serenity project manager.
The adaptation to a stationary dual-sensor was relatively simple, he said.
“Physically, we developed new mounting kits,” Plew said. “The architecture of the camera and acoustics detection didn’t change. We found it actually works better at a lower altitude,” he added, referencing Serenity’s improved acoustic and light pick-up capabilities at such altitudes.
Logos isn’t phasing out the aerostat version of Serenity. According to Plew, the mounted system can easily be installed on an aerostat without any modifications.
“You can have them set up on alternate platforms within a few hours,” he said.
Preliminary work has also begun on mounting Serenity on a moving platform, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle, he said.
Recently, the mounted version of the sensor passed preliminary testing in Huntsville, Alabama. The intent is to be able to use the mounted sensor on any U.S. base or combat zone, Plew said.
“We’ve primarily been working with the Army to develop the sensor, but our hope is that Serenity will be used within other military branch sites overseas,” Rombough said.