The project proposes to develop and integrate airborne sensors to form a two-tier sensor network. The first-tier sensors, carried by vertical take-off and landing autonomous UAVs, are used to patrol large border areas to detect suspicious targets and provide global situation awareness. Fed with the information collected by the first-tier sensors, the second. tier sensors will be deployed to provide more focused surveillance capability by tracking the targets and collecting further evidence for more accurate target recognition and threat evaluation. The second-tier sensors have the capability to track, recognise and identify suspicious targets. The second tier can operate following two concepts: the first implies an autonomous coordination among the small UAVs, equipped with similar sensors, focused to optimise area coverage. The second is based on coordinated sensing, where the exploitation of data collected by different sensors carried by the UAV enables to improve the monitoring effectiveness without requiring the use of several sensors on the same UAV.
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