Soteria Roadside Bomb Detection

More innovation in the field of remote IED detection, this time from Raytheon

Soteria, a new sensor system from Raytheon detects buried bombs by “seeing” into the ground ahead of a vehicle, an innovation aimed at stopping the No. 1 threat to deployed troops. The Soteria system can determine the shape, size, orientation and exact location of mines and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs

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Soteria IED and Mine Detection
Soteria IED and Mine Detection

Much of the underlying research has come from Loughborough University

 

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Opinion3
Opinion3
August 11, 2013 9:49 am

I hope that when COIN operations finish in Afgan that we can return to understanding that the defence of the Nation requires a wide set of skills, assets and capabilities. Just because a MPA wasn’t used in either Iraq or Afganistan it doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful/essential capability. Maybe a chance to get back to basics……. but

Likewise, as COIN has presented us with so many challenges, and to me it appears to have turned many British army ways of doing things upside down, many colours, pieces of kit and no doubt practices are different. Lets learn from the experience and go home with the best, most experienced, wisest and best kitted out army – for COIN that is – in the world.

This technology should be acquired not just for the present but the future.

WiseApe
August 11, 2013 10:16 am

All well and good to detect the IED, but then what? Does this system even mark the spot? Can it share its data with something that can clear the IED?

Also – and this is just my uninitiated Sunday morning ramblings – I would want my IED detector vehicle to be more able to look after itself, otherwise the local opfor could just bury a biscuit tin in the road knowing your vehicle is going to stop, or at least slow down, to investigate – ideal for an ambush.

Observer
Observer
August 11, 2013 10:39 am

Wonder how it works, lasers detecting buried IEDs. If it is just visual, then it’s just a camera with a fancy trade mark.

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
August 11, 2013 11:53 am

“…I would want my IED detector vehicle to be more able to look after itself …”

Be fair, Mr. Ape, there is no suggestion that the system cannot be mounted on any vehicle one cares for. Stick it on the front of an AVRE or a Challenger 2 if you want.

Talking of using Challengers on COIN operations, last night I was reading an account of them being used for just that in Al-Amarah, Iraq in 2004 and with great success. On two occasions it was necessary to get a resupply convoy into the city, but the threat from IEDs and RPGs made a move just by trucks, even protected by warriors, too risky and helicopters were out of the question (no room to land them plus the RPG/Small arms question). So they put together a squadron of Challengers and led with those accompanied by Warriors – no bother (except for the opposition, who got hammered).

I know we went for a non-armoured (ho-ho) solution in Afghanistan, but other nations had other views (didn’t the Danes have Leopards out there). Maybe a few Challengers would have saved a lot of limbs and lives.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
August 11, 2013 2:29 pm

@ WiseApe
But you would have to stop and investigate the buried biscuit tin any way, this sounds a promising system, cutting out all the times you would have to get out and clear an area by hand at the sight of any ground sign. Not to mention reducing the amount of time you are very vulnerable to an ambush, VP 360 any one? : )

HurstLama is right you could put it on any vehicle you want, but an AVRE would just lower its blade and plough through at the sight of ground sign. They were deployed on Herrick 12 where they were very effective, the armoured boys I spoke to where very proud of the work they did, but they were withdrawn when talisman and the extra effort into IED kit began appearing. (plus running costs)

The only issue I would raise is the depth capability of the system and whether it could differentiate between two objects in close proximity i.e. an old plastic bottle on top of a device.

WiseApe
August 11, 2013 3:01 pm

So what vehicle would we mount this system on – something in current inventory, or are we going to have to prise Phil’s purse open for something bespoke?

Please don’t say FRES – life’s too short :D

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
August 11, 2013 3:17 pm

Mount it on whichever vehicle is the point on the convoy/patrol, I only say this as I’m assuming that it would be used by call signs not already tasked with route clearance (they have ground penetrating radar) and would be just another system that offers another degree of ability in finding an IED, along with all the other bits and pieces, I can see it being useful in detecting one type of device that we currently have no real defence at the moment, other than ground sign awareness.

Observer
Observer
August 11, 2013 3:35 pm

IIRC, ground pen radar reading is a very specialised skill, think the one readout I saw was simply lines, lines and more lines to my untutored eye. This might be beyond the usage of non-specialists.

David, it looks like a visual system, no depth penetration capability, just groundsign spotting. Could be wrong, but I’ve a hard time figuring out how a laser system can look through the ground.

Personally, I would just roller the front vehicle in a convoy, detonate the IEDs prematurely. And pray they didn’t bury 100kg+ of fertilizer explosives. Happened in Palestine. Took out 3-4 Mekavas.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
August 11, 2013 5:41 pm

I’m not sure how the system works, but I’m presuming that when you spot something dodgy in the ground in front you, you stop and lower the vibrating gadget on the front and the camera spots differences in the the ground, maybe through differing frequencies within the solid ground and the disturbed ground the object or the materials of the object, I’m no expert but that’s just what I interpreted from the video.

It just negates people dismounting to investigate I presume.

But I agree the ground penetrating radar used in the talisman system would not be used by units not tasked with deliberate route clearance.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
August 11, 2013 6:08 pm

I can only see it being used in specialist units due to cost, It seems pretty simple to operate to me and if the Horn is an all arms issue I see no reason this can’t be.

It’s just a method of showing you something is there, you need have your suspicion to stop and investigate to begin with.

I did read the route clearance article and as always TD was very impressed with it’s scope and content : ) I can remember the Alvis 4 from Bosnia, and the Army said there was no vehicle to replace the snatch when we already had experience in operating an alternative oh well they know best : )