The symposium covers all military sensing technologies, comprising electro-optics/infrared, radar, seismic and acoustic which includes topics such as: novel sensing technologies (quantum, biomimetic, nanomaterials, …), sensor systems (digitization of night vision systems, cognitive systems, distributed sensors, networked sensors, on-board processing, in-memory processing, from data to information …), advancements in EO/IR, THz, radar (mmw phased arrays, MIMO, noise radar, …) and acoustic sensing, autonomy (autonomous sensing, sensing for autonomy, …), sensing from space, sensing phenomenology, sensor exploitation, spectrum management, etc. The focus of the application of these technologies could be related to themes such as countering UxVs, countering directed energy, the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control Capability (AFSCC), human performance optimization, etc.
This NATO Military Sensing Symposium (MSS) will be the ninth in a series of international meetings focusing on military sensing. Typically, it has been held every three years alternately between Europe and North America. The last edition was convened in Friedrichshafen (GER) in May 2011 (SET-169), while the previous one was conducted in Orlando (USA) in March 2008 (SET-130). It concentrates on a wide range of sensing technologies, including electro-optics/infrared, radar, seismic and acoustic. These technologies are continuously evolving, particularly in the radar and infrared (IR) spectral regions. New materials are being investigated and the spectral range of sensors are been extended to address the challenges of detection and identification in adversarial environments. In addition, novel data fusion approaches and techniques, integration of multiple sensors, development of algorithms and signal processing are being used to increase sensor performance and improve situation awareness and interoperability. MSS will allow valuable comparison of sensing systems from different NATO countries; generates expert critique of programs; and facilitates future joint collaboration between NATO countries. It will serve to promote interoperability within NATO, foster mutual reliance and enhance the quality of military sensor development activities, which will benefit system developers as well as system users. As the NATO defence community is highly dependent on sensors for detection, identification and tracking of red and blue forces to determine the course of actions, it is essential to maintain a technological awareness of a rapidly evolving domain and promote interoperability. Practically, it could result in the development of more performant sensors or the provision of guidance on sensing capabilities to the warfighters. This endeavour is consistent with the NATO S&T priorities (AC/323-D(2014)0009) that identified Data Collection & Processing as a one of the ten priority areas with a direct impact on all four targets of emphasis (electromagnetic sensors, non-electromagnetic sensors, sensor integration and advanced signal processing). In addition, MSS topics are related to three other priority areas: Precision Engagement (precision control), Information Analysis & Decision Support (augmented situational awareness) and Autonomy (mission autonomous systems).
The symposium aims at bringing together government and industry experts from the NATO countries in the area of military sensing. It enables the sharing of current information on sensors and how they are being used in operation. It is expected that valuable comparisons and technical critique will foster interoperability within NATO, stimulate joint programs and agreements, and improve the quality of national programs related to military sensing. The emphasis will be on military sensor technology at the system and subsystem level.