The main objective of the CapTech Ground Systems (Land) is to support pMS in developing technology for the Land systems of the future and to improve legacy Land systems. In this sense, all CapTech Land members have an important role in defining research priorities, in identifying technological gaps and in contributing to the definition of action strategies. Thus, providing a comprehensive and multidimensional view of the challenges, needs and opportunities for Terrestrial Systems.
CapTech Land focuses its actions on R&T activities for:
- improving land platforms (manned and unmanned), with integrated systems (including C4I, power generation and management, weapon systems, targeting systems, mobility, etc);
- soldier systems (including teaming with unmanned systems);
- protection of land forces (including C-IED);
- and military camps.
Through these activities, CapTech Land contributes to the development of enhanced land platforms, unmanned ground systems, integration of future automated and autonomous platforms with soldiers, enhanced active and passive protection of forces, and enhanced soldier systems.
In addition to the development of technology, its integration into higher TRL solutions for Land systems is an important component of CapTech Land activities. For this reason, complementarity and cross-CapTechs synergies are very important for our community.
CapTech Land meetings are held 3 times per year. During the first day, two parallel sessions are organized: one for governmental experts – CapTech National Coordinators (CNCs) and CapTech Governmental Experts (CGEs) – and another for industry and research experts – non-Governmental Experts (CnGE). The second day is devoted to a joint session between all CapTech members. This cross-CapTech way of working encourages active and vibrant discussions from different CapTech members’ perspectives and allow a better networking among different CapTech groups. All the information related to the meetings is shared in the CapTech Land Workspace.
Requests for membership to the CapTech can be submitted to the CapTech Moderator and granted by the respective CNCs. Be aware that your request will be forwarded to your national authorities, in the person of the relevant CNC. The approval of the CNC will be needed to become a Governmental Expert (CGE) or non-Governmental Expert (CnGE), and for your participation in a CapTech event. To become a member of the CapTech (CGE or CnGE), please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CapTech Land activities are guided by the CapTech Land Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). The SRA provides strategic guidance (encompassing MS and industrial views) on technical and operational challenges to be solved. Moreover, it identifies structures and delivers a consolidated strategic roadmap towards the development of the next generation of ground systems and related components covering the next ten to fifteen years.
To cover all the relevant technology aspects for land systems, the CapTech clusters groups of technologies in Technology Building Blocks (TBBs). TBBs represent R&T priority areas and they are often linked and interdependent.
The CapTech Land TBBs, as they stand today, are the following:
- TBB01 - Land Systems Architecture & Integration
- TBB02 - Power generation, storage, and management for Land Systems
- TBB03 - Passive and active protection for Land Systems
- TBB04 - Logistics for Land operations
- TBB05 - Development of unmanned systems, manned/unmanned teaming
- TBB06 - Target/Threat recognition, identification and targeting
- TBB07 - Health and Usage Monitoring for equipment, self-monitoring and self-repairing
- TBB08 - Novel User Interfaces for Soldier – Assets integration/control
- TBB09 - Mobility and Counter-Mobility
- TBB10 - Weapon system integration
Each of these TBBs has a dedicated TBB roadmap where descriptions of multiple activities are listed as possible solutions to close technology gaps in the coming years. A total of 142 activities are described in the CapTech Land TBB roadmaps.
Having as reference the TBB roadmaps, CapTech Land has currently 12 new Cat B projects in preparation and expects to start the preparation of 9 additional Cat B projects in the coming months. The projects in preparation cover the following aspects:
CUGS – Combat unmanned ground system
CUGS is the most ambitious and complex R&T project in preparation, with 9 MS, 30 industry partners and an estimated budget of over 25 M€.
The project aims at choosing and adapting 3 different kinds of platforms, and to define, design, and develop a set of functional modules which will be articulated in a final solution for highly autonomous combat unmanned ground systems. The platforms and functional modules will provide solutions for:
- Navigation, local situational awareness,
- Communications, command, and control (C3), and cooperation,
- Lethal effectors.
ATRIT I – Automatic target/threat recognition, identification and targeting for land systems
The objective of this project is to define, design and develop a set of demonstrators to:
- automatically detect and identify land systems’ targets/threats;
- contribute to the combat engagement with automatic allocation of targets.
The project will improve force protection and contribute to a more effective and efficient engagement of land forces and will cover the following topics:
- Target/threat detection by video-based analysis of human behaviour.
- Improved sensor data fusion for defined combat distances based on 360° situational awareness.
- Integration of real time sensor information with C4I and comparison with historical data to improve target / threat recognition and identification.
- Cross-platform 360° situational awareness, with fast threat recognition, distribution and sensor-to-shooter allocation for vehicles and dismounted soldiers.
- Presentation of information covering real-time sensor data, C4I and historical data to support vehicle crew members in effective and fast decision-making.
LITBAT – Definition of safety concepts and safety features of lithium-ion batteries and standardization of most common battery format for lithium-ion-technology
The aim of this project is to create an application-oriented analysis, including a draft guideline recommendation in making lithium-ion battery applications safer and usable in respective military land-based platforms. The goal is to develop recommendations for the military use of lithium-ion batteries. In a second phase, the results will be used to validate the representative battery systems and to implement a European platform for the application of the respective battery systems.
FUSS – Fuel cell for soldier systems
The aim of this project is to develop an enhanced soldier-sized fuel cell energy source. Although not new on the market, the existing designs of man-portable fuel cells still suffer from a lack of clear advantages in terms of weight and space specific parameters compared to concurrent technology such as e.g., Li-Ion batteries. Looking from a research perspective, different fuel cell technologies do have the potential to change this situation based on different innovative solutions. The final solution will also be very interesting for other defence applications like small UAV and UGV or further mobility solutions for remote missions.
ASCALS – Advanced solutions for camouflage of land systems using smart and adaptive materials
The main objectives of the project are to find new materials and their application processes for active/adaptive camouflage in the ViS, NIR, IR, and radar range. The research will focus on most generally applicable developments and show the potential of generic techniques for selected application first, based on two mechanisms: 1) absorption and obscuring; and 2) prevention of thermal radiation.
In a second phase, the most promising solutions will be optimized, and one or more demonstrators will be developed, assembled in land platforms, and tested in a relevant environment.
3D-4LAND – 3D terrain and city models for situational awareness, decision making and effector coordination
The idea for this project is using technology to scan the surface of the earth and automatically model it, including its textures, with high precision for simulation purposes. Using these models in military vehicles (with support of other means such as drones or low-altitude satellites) will bring a new dimension to situational awareness and would help land forces to better understand how a specific place looks like before arriving. The potential of such technology and how to apply it to situational awareness, target/threat detection and identification, and effector application will be the main objectives of the project.
ELUVAT – Innovative electric light utility all-terrain vehicle for defence purposes based on PEM fuel cell and in-wheel electro motors
The project concerns the development of an all-terrain electrical light utility vehicle. This development will be based on an existing legacy vehicle with a conventional driveline. This legacy vehicle will get modified by introducing an advanced electrified powertrain with in-wheel electro motors.
In the first phase the concept will be developed and validated through simulation. The simulation will cover space claim, weight, and performance issues, and shall compare the new powertrain to the conventional powertrain. Different options as power source for the electrified powertrain shall be considered. In a second phase, a full demonstrator will be developed.
SafeNGVA – Safe-communication extension of the NGVA
The aim of this project is to develop a solution to establish a safe-communication extension for NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA) in terms of functional safety. The project will provide a safe and open approach able to serve the hard requirements of functional/system safety validators, having as baseline that safety is one part of the NGVA that is not defined to enough implementable depth.
The project is split into three phases to reduce risk and allow iterative improvement. The demonstrators increase in complexity in each phase. In the first phase, a basic architecture for safe communication using the NGVA will be defined and evaluated. It defines which measures need to be taken, how safety can be reached, and how it can be integrated into the NGVA. The architecture will be validated by different techniques. One of the main goals of the NGVA is to improve the interoperability. A demonstration for interoperability between the member states will be performed.
IAPUNIT II – Fuel cell system with standardized military fuel – Phase 2
The objective of IAPUNIT II is to demonstrate the feasibility of an integrated system with an electric power capacity for usage on board of a wheeled armoured vehicle or another relevant environment.
The main priority of the project is that the demonstrator will be able to have a good performance using diesel quality grades from regular to “dirty”. In addition, the project will investigate the electrical integration into the vehicle considering standards like NGVA. Furthermore, options for the thermal integration with the vehicle platform will be investigated.
HybriDT II – Hybrid drive trains demonstrator – phase 2
The aim of this project is to design full-scale wheeled and tracked military purpose demonstrators with hybrid drive trains to verify simulation results and allow for tactical and logistic testing of new technologies, based on HybriDT I project results.
Wheeled vehicles will be the focus of the project. 8×8 and 6×6 IFVs will be considered. In addition, tracked vehicles will be considered in simulation environment. The project will identify the best technology for a modular and scalable hybrid architecture best fitting for military purpose which fulfils the targets for significant weight saving, space claim, thermal radiation reduction, and fuel consumption reduction.
PASEI II – Protection of autonomous systems against enemy interference – phase 2
The objective of this project is further investigating the results of PASEI I. The project will prioritize threats by their viability and implement countermeasures against the most likely ones (first).
To address these issues, PASEI II will consider the following two modules:
- Threats and countermeasures: identification, development, and testing.
- Development, integration and testing of a Decision Support Platform (DSP).
IEDDET II - IED Detection Programme – phase 2
The objective of this project is to develop a multi-sensor technology demonstrator for stand-off detection and confirmation of IEDs and IED components buried in and near/aside the route, and to demonstrate its capabilities, i.e., improved detection performance at increased rate of advance with reduced operator workload, in relevant Route Clearance detection field experiments. To enhance the confirmation capability, a remotely operated interrogation device is included.
The main objectives with respect to technology development are as follows:
- Enhancement of sensor fusion capabilities for distributed sensors mounted on unmanned platforms.
- Development of an HMI for the multi-sensor detection and the multi-platform operating system in the Route Clearance control vehicle.
- Optimal deployment of a remotely operated interrogation tool for enhanced confirmation.
The 9 additional Cat B projects will address the following topics:
- Intelligent management and display of data for platform crew's increased situational awareness.
- New modular and scalable vehicle architectures that envisage unmanned and hybrid electric operation modes for the platform.
- UxV control and command interfaces simulator and demonstrator for soldiers.
- Development of an Augmented Reality control and management system for controlling multiple UAV/UGV.
- Energy generation and storage systems for directed energy weapon systems on military ground vehicles.
- Active anti-drone protection systems.
- European next generation rocket artillery system.
- Exoskeleton for high, mid, and low body parts.
- Innovative suspension systems to achieve further dominance of the terrain, both for wheeled and tracked vehicles.
ONGOING AND FINALISED ACTIVITIES
In the last years, CapTech Land launched several projects and studies (some are still ongoing), addressing the following topics:
Cat B projects:
- IED Detection Programme (IEDDET).
- Vehicle Mounted Early Warning of Indirect Indicators of IEDs (VMEWI3).
- UGV stand-off multi-sensor platform for IED component detection (MUSICODE).
- Confirmation, Identification and Airborne Early Warning of (CBRN) IEDs (CONFIDENT).
- Study to investigate opportunities and challenges of lightweight constructions for Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles (L-AMPV I and L-AMPV II).
- Development of an innovative auxiliary power unit for military purposes based on high-temperature PEM fuel cell and reforming technology based on military logistic consumable materials (IAPUNIT).
- Hybrid drive trains for military applications (HybriDT).
- Protection Against Enemy Interference (PASEI).
- Land Vehicle Open System Architecture (LAVOSAR I and II).
- Hybrid Manned-Unmanned Platooning (HyMUP).
- Operating UGS in Explosive ordnance endangered Military Training Areas (OEMTA).
- Unmanned Ground Tactical Vehicle (UGTV).
- Semi-Autonomous Small Ground Vehicle (SAM UGV).
- Combat Equipment for Dismounted Soldier Feasibility Study Programme (CEDS FSP).
- Adaptive Camouflage for the Soldier (ACAMS).
- Acclimatization Textile System (ACCLITEXSYS).
- Precision Targeting Study (CEDS FSP PT).
- Innovative Helmet Materials for Soldier Head Protection (iHELMMAT).
- Ultralight Weight Bullet-proof Vests (LiVEST).
- Multimodular Soldier Interface System (MUMSIS).
- Observation Under Reduce Visibility (OBSURV).
- Soldier Portable Energy Reserve PACK (SPEC-PACK).
- New active protection systems for land platforms (NAPS).
- Active anti-drone protection systems (ADPS).
- Combat unmanned ground vehicle (CUGV).
- Standardized Unmanned Ground Vehicle with Open Architecture (SUGV)
- Identification of all major technical and safety requirements for military unmanned vehicle to operate in combined manned-unmanned mission (SafeMUVe).
- Scenarios for Multiple Unmanned Vehicle Operations (SMUVO).
- Multi-Robot Control in Support of the Soldier (MuROC).
- Innovative options for platform mobility (IOPM).
- Power Management for Land Platforms (PMLP).
- Unmanned Ground Systems Landscaping and Integration” Study (UGS LIS).
- Standard Architecture for Soldier Systems with focus on power (STASS I).
- Standard Architecture for Soldier Systems with focus on data management and infrastructure (STASS II).
- Unattended Ground Sensor Networks for Large Area Surveillance (UGLAS).
- Concept Study on Non-Lethal Optical and Acoustic Systems (NLOAS).
CapTech Land has a very dynamic community of over 130 members who are deeply committed and motivated to identify new possibilities for multinational cooperation and to launch relevant and ambitions R&T projects in support to the armed forces of the future.