Providing Superior
Situational Awareness

Providing Superior Situational Awareness

How sensor fusion with artificial intelligence is creating a clear picture

Sensor fusion generates a holistic situation report from huge amounts of data. By using artificial intelligence, previously blind spots can be made visible.

Established sensor technologies alone will no longer be sufficient in the future. Only by linking the platforms, by sensibly evaluating the ever-increasing volumes of data, and through the targeted use of numerous artificial intelligence (AI) methods can a comprehensive situation report be created in real time. In this way, the whole becomes more than the sum of its individual technologies – and superiority emerges.

To achieve this, HENSOLDT connects its sensors to form an intelligent network. Every node within the operational chain, every sensor – whether stationary on the ground, mobile on a vehicle, or in the air – delivers fully integrated information. AI intelligently processes the data, identifying, classifying, and tracking potential threats. Hardware and software work together seamlessly. Complemented by highly automated self-defence systems, drone defence technology, and advanced targeting systems, this gives every operational area the information it needs. The user is relieved and can concentrate faster and better on the essentials.

Sensor Fusion – for Better Situational Awareness

The ever-increasing volumes of data generated by sensors are increasingly being processed directly in the vehicle. This so-called edge computing, decentralized data processing at the edge of the network, reduces the amount of data transferred between individual platforms or even to the cloud. Less bandwidth is required for data transfer and visibility during transmission is reduced, as is the risk of data loss or impaired data quality. Latency – the time delay between the occurrence of an event and its visualization – is minimized.

This is made possible by the use of AI, which helps to process the resulting data already on site and translate it into actionable information. HENSOLDT’s intelligent sensors not only perceive situations, but they also understand them.

Then, this data-derived information from all spectral ranges of manned and unmanned systems on the ground and in the air flows together. A comprehensive 360-degree situation report is created in real time, with AI detecting threats, assessing them, and warning about them. This interaction increases situational awareness and accelerates decision-making while decreasing the burden on the people who must make those decisions.

HENSOLDT has the know‑how for such integrated sensor fusion networks. In the not-too-distant future, they will form the basis for fully networked, multispectral, and intelligent sensor technology across all safety applications, encompassing the entire field of application.

SETAS – for More Insight

Tanks have often provided decisive superiority for over 100 years. Their advantage: They protect their crew. Their disadvantage: the occupants have only a very limited view of their surroundings and possible dangers. With the See Through Armour System (SETAS) developed by HENSOLDT, tank crews can virtually see through the armor of their vehicle for the first time. The increasing danger from improvised explosive devices or drones is effectively averted.

SETAS combines several high-resolution HENSOLDT daylight cameras, which can be supplemented by infrared modules. The special feature: in the future, the enormous volume of data generated in the process – more than 20 gigabits per second, which would rush at users from all directions – will be evaluated by image processing and AI algorithms. Reduced to the essentials, the crew will then receive only the information they need – without false alarms or the risk of overlooking potential threats.

Photo of German soldiers sitting in a tank

SETAS intelligently combines the data from the various daylight and infrared cameras into an integrated panoramic view that can be viewed by up to eight users simultaneously. Attention is automatically directed to relevant situations.

Photo of a soldier siiting in a tank while looking through a device

All external SETAS interfaces comply with the new NATO standardization agreement. SETAS can easily communicate with other systems and components such as monitors, tablets, or even head-mounted displays.

View from Seta's perspective. 'Setas View' is written on the top. Beneath is a red box containing the words 'Hotspot detected'. A crosshair is located in the center of the image. On the right there's a person marked by a red box

SETAS can identify people at a distance of up to 300 meters. Threats are highlighted in the display with the help of augmented reality markers. For additional security, further sensors for gunshot or laser detection can be added.

Image of a transparent sphere. It contains four rectangles pointing towards each other.

SETAS integrates other systems and communicates with them. In this way, geodata-based data about objects can be transmitted to other vehicles – for example, the exact position of the attacker in the event of an attack.

Photo of an image processing unit

A compact central image processing unit directly processes the huge amounts of data in SETAS. This avoids time-consuming data transfers. Information is processed in such a way that different crew members only see what is important for their respective tasks.

Photo of a tank

SETAS can be easily combined with or integrated into other systems in the HENSOLDT portfolio – including the MUSS self-protection system, UAV defence technology, VADR drone reconnaissance, SPEXER radar, radio direction finder, EOTS electro-optical system, and command and control software.

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Image of a Military Utility Vehicle

Military Utility Vehicle – for Superiority The modular platform developed by HENSOLDT in just eight months in the new Military Utility Vehicle illustrates the role that sensor fusion can play in the future in civilian and military applications. A wide variety of HENSOLDT systems have been installed on the all-terrain Iveco Defence Vehicle (IDV); in addition to SETAS, these include a Radio Direction Finder and the multifunctional MUSS self-protection system. Moreover, the installation of radar sensors is planned.

Via a system architecture that centrally combines the data of all individual systems, the information is automatically processed and centrally evaluated as well as processed with the help of AI. The result: sensor fusion that pushes the limits of what is technically feasible today and shows its concentrated power. Installed in a vehicle that provides comprehensive situational awareness, it can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance as well as for convoy and self-protection.

In doing so, the system combines other advantages: Iveco Defence’s vehicle base offers a turnkey solution with customizable detection and classification capabilities specifically designed for a wide range of tasks. Thanks to the modular design, customers can select and combine the required sensor systems from the comprehensive HENSOLDT range to meet their individual requirements. All components can be connected to the central computer unit and offer the desired additional functionality via special software. The results are evaluated directly in the vehicle but can also be transmitted externally.

An initial demonstrator of the Military Utility Vehicle currently exists, which is to be continuously further developed and brought to series production readiness.