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Multi-sensor Fusion Architecture for the Detection of PB-IEDs

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Systems Concepts and Integration

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detection, PBIEDs, Sensorfusion


The employment of Person Borne IEDs (PB-IEDs) is one of the key factors in granting the success of the asymmetric warfare model of terrorist attacks. PB-IEDs can be easily fabricated, they can be easily concealed on the human body, they allow to perpetrate various types of attacks at times and places that are opportunely chosen. The recent events have shown the spreading of this types of attacks not only in conflict areas, but also and mainly in urban areas far away from the war zones. As a consequence, worldwide, governments are taking countermeasures and preparing for the future threat. Detection of PB-IEDs can be carried out with various techniques and technologies and at various levels. Aviation security is an example of multi-level, multi-sensor detection of an IED threat. Military forces protect sensitive locations by means of various technologies. Scenarios that involve compound protection or event protection are common. The diversification of technologies is important in order to increase the probability of success in the detection of a PB-IED. This is due to the fact that there is no single sensor that can detect any explosive threat. The various sensors can be employed in parallel or in cascade. Usually each sensor carries out its own decision algorithm and the outputs are combined in a post-detection sensor fusion in order to improve the detection performances. This type of sensor fusion is relatively easy to employ, since the sensors are considered as black boxes. On the other end, multi-sensor fusion techniques applied before detection by the individual sensors can exploit maximally the capabilities of the single sensors and mitigate the limitations, therefore improving the total system capabilities. This is however possible only if the raw data produced by each sensor is made available. Several national research campaigns have focused on the detection of PB-IEDs in various military relevant scenarios. Tests were usually carried out in collaboration with the industry and research institutes, and sensor fusion techniques were applied to the output data (post-detection). There are few cases of pre-detection sensor fusion techniques carried out in laboratory, at a low system architecture TRL.


The ET will determine whether it is feasible to constitute an RTG. During the ET a Statement of Work (SoW) for the RTG will be defined. The main goal of the RTG consists in setting the steps in building up a novel sensor fusion architecture that improves the detection capabilities of single sensors and that is independent on the available sensors. The architecture is meant to carry out sensor fusion techniques at different levels, but preferably at pre-detection level. The expected TRL of the sensor-fusion system architecture is 5. The architecture will be designed in several stages, made of a combination of technical activities, including one or two demonstrations (if possible a CDT): the first demonstration will aim at collecting data from multiple sensors and use it to design the architecture; the second demonstration will aim at assessing the capabilities of the system architecture. The knowledge and the algorithms built during the RTG will be commonly shared amongst the partners


The ET will define the Statement of Work (SoW) for the RTG. It is foreseen that the main activities of the RTG will be: 1. Definition of military scenarios, test targets and detection technologies to be used in the demonstration; 2. Organization of a training trial where the sensors will be tested in preparation for sensor fusion; 3. Design of a software/hardware sensor fusion system architecture. This is the main activity of the RTG. 4. Organization of a demo or CDT in order to assess the capabilities of the sensor fusion architecture.

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