Army Develops New Mapping Tools for Shore and Inland Routing

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The U.S. Army has begun to develop two suites of new tools intended for mapping safer routes in missions that may involve enemy mines and traps.

Researchers from the Army Research Laboratory and Army Corps of Engineers aim to produce inland mapping and littoral mapping tools in an effort to counter enemy-employed anti-access, area-denial methods, the Army said Thursday.

A2AD methods involve the use of mines at places near shore and concealed inland threats.

The new inland mapping tool employs a three-dimensional terrain visualization technology designed to assist soldiers in identifying the safest route to pass through.

The platform also makes use of Light Detection and Ranging and video sensors to collect data for the visualization system’s 3D map.

Damon Conover, an electronics engineer at the ARL, said the inland system’s sensors can be integrated on a small unmanned aerial vehicle.

The littoral mapping tool seeks to help soldiers and marines navigate through shores in consideration of potential hindrances such as sand bars and strong currents.

USACE’s Engineer Research and Development Center designed the littoral system to function in stormy conditions and detect threats hidden underwater and other obstacles near or within shore.

The system is built to collect data through UAVs equipped with sensors and radar.

The two systems were unveiled during the 2017 Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Association of the U.S. Army.

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