A Novel Generic Sensor Fusion Electronic Architecture Supporting Heterogeneous Commercial Sensing Technologies and Military Vetronics Systems

  • Sean Murphy

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The aim of this thesis is to enhance local situational awareness for crews operating military land platforms within urban environments. Proposed is the utilisation of modern, automotive, Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) sensing technologies for applications within military land vehicles to enhance local situational awareness. Thus, improving crew, civilian, platform and mission survivability and safety in a cost-effective manner.

One current military area of operations is within diverse and complex urban environments, these operating environments can be described as Congested, Cluttered, Contested, Connected and Constrained (the 5C’s). Outside the military environment, over the past 10 years significant advances within the automotive sector regarding sensing technologies and autonomous systems have increased exponentially. Driven by enormous investment from the commercial / private automotive Tier 1 and 2 suppliers, with recent years seeing many government sponsored, technology accelerator programs. The results of this significant global investment have produced low cost, advanced, sensing technologies and sensing capabilities, coupled with advanced sensor fusion capabilities, which could potentially be exploited within military land platforms to increase situational awareness.

This thesis looks to address the challenges faced by defence agencies by investigating and evaluating how the advancements in COTS sensing technologies can be taken advantage of to increase situational awareness for crews of Mounted Combat Systems (MCS) within chaotic urban environments. All outputs aim to support a cost-effective, rapid integration solution for current and future sensing technologies, harmonised with military land systems through a novel Generic Sensor Fusion Electronic Architecture (GSFEA).

The main contributions of the thesis are:
• First contribution: A detailed two-part study has been conducted to assess the applicability of COTS automotive sensing technologies and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for use within military land platforms. Additionally, a detailed review of COTS integration into the military domain has been conducted, highlighting the barriers to COTS integration within military land systems.
• Second contribution: Utilising the results from the first contribution, a novel COTS sensing technologies classification concept (Commercial Technology Integration Levels (CTIL)) was developed. Along with a collection of novel, detailed, MCS COTS sensing technologies use cases, approved by the UK MoD. CTIL is a new evaluation framework and early de-risking tool that supports effective defence procurement strategies by evaluating the integration requirements for the rapid adoption of new capabilities and emerging technologies.
• Third, fourth and fifth contribution: The design and development of a novel Generic Sensor Fusion Electronic Architecture for integrating COTS sensing technologies with the current Def Stan 23-009 Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) and STANAG 4754 NATO Generic vehicle Architecture (NGVA).
• Sixth contribution: Verification and validation of the proposed solutions presented above through a complex testbed compatible with the GVA / NGVA. The results from this validation also provided a set of critical recommendations for the Def Stan 23- 009 GVA, which have been reviewed by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence.
Date of AwardMay 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorElias Stipidis (Supervisor), Dr P Charchalakis (Supervisor), Aditya Deshpande (Supervisor) & Ian Colwill (Supervisor)

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