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AFIT, USAFA partner with Thai Ministry of Defence

Posted Tuesday, August 02, 2022

 


The Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, and the Director-General of Thailand’s Defence Science and Technology Department signed an information exchange agreement during a virtual ceremony on June 1. The milestone agreement will allow both parties to advance the theory and testing needed for systems that can sense, detect, and classify installation threats. (Contributed Photo)

 

The Air Force Institute of Technology and the U.S. Air Force Academy partnered with the Thai Ministry of Defence on an information exchange agreement project titled “Remote Sensing for Base Perimeter Defense.” It is the first such agreement between the U.S. Department of Defense and Thai Ministry of Defence.

“The primary area of mutual technical interests was development of a system and algorithm for human detection for base security, especially in situations where traditional measures such as video may not work well like poor illumination, or obscuration by foliage” said Dr. Richard Martin, professor of electrical engineering at AFIT.

The agreement will allow both parties to advance the theory and testing needed for systems that can sense, detect, and classify installation threats. Commercial off-the-shelf prototypes from both Thailand and the U.S. will be tested, and feedback shared.

Col. Ryan Thomas, a professor at USAFA at the time, saw the topic on a list of proposed research collaborations by Thailand. The scope of the project was similar to work he had done with Martin during a prior assignment as faculty at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Martin and Thomas developed a prototype system, signal processing model, and imaging algorithm using a radio frequency wireless sensor network for detection and tracking of humans, including through-wall situations. That research made the collaboration with Thailand a natural fit.

“After meeting with my Thai counterparts recently, I am very excited to begin this collaboration,” said Lt. Col. Neil Rogers, USAFA senior military faculty and assistant professor of electrical engineering. “I believe we have much to learn from one another and can help move the state-of-the-art forward in high-priority areas of counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems research and base perimeter security.”

“The Thai partners will bring valuable contributions, including an understanding of the effects of challenging outdoor environments on radio sensor networks and an understanding of real-world tactical issues that need to be addressed for base security applications,” said Martin.

AFIT has a history of partnership with the Thai Ministry of Defence dating back to the late 1970s when four Thai students earned master’s degrees and four attended professional continuing education courses.

“We are delighted to partner with our colleagues in Thailand on this important work. This agreement will allow for cooperation in remote sensing and its application to perimeter defense and other key areas,” said Dr. Walter Jones, AFIT director and chancellor. “I look forward to working with our Thai partners for years to come.”

The next steps with the partnership are to share data sets and code to process that data to create images in order to replicate the findings and use it to propose alternate approaches.
 

 

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