Scientists at Roke Manor Research will lead a team of specialists to develop innovative sensor technology for infantry soldiers.
The firm, part of the Chemring Group, has been awarded a three-year, £5m research contract by the UK government's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Under the Dismounted Close Combat Sensors (DCCS) Research Programme, Roke will head a team drawn from across industry and academia, to assess, mature and integrate sensor technology for the dismounted close combat soldier.
James Fisher, business sector manager at Roke, said: "The team will be casting the net wide to identify novel sensor technologies, developing them into workable solutions that improve military capability and therefore maximise the return on this programme's investment.”
An important goal of the programme is to develop an open system architecture, in line with the developing Generic Soldier Architecture (GSA), to allow for the integration of multiple sensor-based subsystems, such as acoustic, thermal imaging and RF subsystems.
The system will be designed to enhance situational awareness, facilitate collaborative targeting and increase operational tempo, while minimising the size, weight and power burden on the soldier.
Dr David Massey, programme lead for Dstl's C4ISR Domain, said: "The DCCS research to be delivered by Roke is an important programme for the Ministry of Defence.
“The intent is to develop the UK's dismounted soldier as an integrated sensor capability within the wider ISTAR enterprise, thus providing him with greater local and shared situational awareness while increasing his overall combat effectiveness.
“Over the next three years, Roke, along with its partners, will be developing the key low-power, low-weight sensor and processing technologies that will realise the benefits envisaged."
The DCCS Research Programme Team comprises of Roke, SEA and QinetiQ, and the team will work with a wide range of partners, in an open framework, to assess and integrate sensor technologies.
"Dstl encourages all sensor technology suppliers with potential offerings to contact Roke with details as to how they may be able to contribute to the programme," said Massey.