ugsONE: New Blueforce Tactical Plugin that Turns the Smartphone into an Unattended Ground Sensor
Here at Blueforce, we think back just ten years ago and the state of personal computing at the time. We were fresh out of Iraq and post-9/11 and simple gamecam capabilities could run a DoD unit upwards of $80,000 a sensor. Military and emergency management groups alike have long been keen for sensors that can be left behind if need be. Ones that are inexpensive and disposable if necessary. Today’s smartphones are incredible and inexpensive little machines: it’s one thing to marvel at the processing and communications capabilities, but who would have imagined the sensor payload we carry in our pockets every day? Let’s start with the accelerometer which measures the acceleration that the handset is experiencing. If you move, so does it, but leave it alone and it will go flat. The accelerometer also gives us orientation along its three axes. Apps use this data to tell if a phone is in portrait or landscape orientation, if its screen is facing up- or downward. This same sensor can detect even the most minute seismic activity at a location.
As interesting is the multi-media capabilities in today’s smartphones. We have front and rear cameras. We have API’s that allow us to record full motion video and/or capture static JPEG images from front and rear cameras. Even the microphone on an Android unit can be trapped to monitor acoustic peaks and measure frequencies that signal a gunshot versus the sound of a human voice.
Combining the capabilities of built-in smartphone sensors presents great opportunity for unattended surveillance, so we built a new Blueforce Tactical plugin that monitors seismic activity which can (or cannot) be correlated with acoustic activity to force the on-board cameras to capture imagery and send to the nearest Blueforce user, and/or to a command and control function. We call it “ugsONE” which uses the core Blueforce platform to provide awareness and subsequent secure movement of sensor detections to quick reaction forces in proximity to the sensor, but also to the tactical ops center. UgsONE leverages the accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone, and on-board cameras.
Last week we put it to the test at a Special Operations exercise in an urban warfare mission space. We placed a Kyocera Brigadier in WIFI mode at the mouth of a tunnel system and had it pushing Blueforce sensor data via low-wattage WIFI through a Trellisware radio. The Brigadier, using Blueforce Tactical, also fused gamma rad and multi-gas chemical detection alongside of the seismic and acoustic activity. The Brigadier (and its cousin, the DuraForce) is the perfect device for hostile environments and has the most complete set of comms, environmental, and power features that we have seen to date. The results? The photo above shows just one detection when the gentleman in the frame shown above came too close to the Blueforce UGS. We had it within 5 seconds of the detection. And THAT is what we call actionable intelligence.
This plugin is available as an “on request” item for approved agencies. For more information or to test ugsONE, please call us at 866-960-0204 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.