Background

GuardDog is a revolutionary network of sensors that can constantly monitor an area for intrusion detection and relay the sensed data to a satellite or another receiver many kilometers away. The basic GuardDog sensors are used to detect motion or serve in “wake-up” scenarios where they trigger another device such as a camera or radiation detector. More sophisticated GuardDog sensors can be used to distinguish human activity from motions generated by wildlife, wind, etc., and the sensors can track and record the exact locations of the activity. Most importantly, the sensors ultra-wideband (UWB) signals for high performance in harsh propagation environments where even the most advanced commercially available sensors face difficulty. These include heavily “cluttered” environments found in dense urban areas, indoors with metallic and concrete obstacles such as warehouses, and inside cargo containers. GuardDog sensors are resistant to jamming, detection, and tampering. The basic sensors, which measure roughly 8 inches long by 3 inches in diameter, can be easily camouflaged or hidden in artificial rocks and in and behind walls. The sensors can be scattered in an ad-hoc manner, be placed surreptitious to build an electronic “fence”, e.g. around a building, or used strategically, e.g. in a stairwell or alleyway to protect assets.

Description

GuardDog technology uses ultra-wideband (UWB) impulse sensors (also known as micropower impulse radar or MIR), optional global positioning systems (GPS), local signal processing, and user-selectable (power and bandwidth) radio frequency (RF) communication transceivers. UWB sensors emit and detect very-low-amplitude and short-voltage impulses for detecting returning radar signals. By employing a precise “range-gate,” UWB signals are used to create an omni-directional detecting shell of user-selected diameter. A network of these sensors can form a protective ad-hoc area-wide coverage, be placed strategically, or form a “fence” around selected facilities, in which all motion inside or outside the area of interest is ignored.

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Advantages

  • UWB signaling creates high performance in cluttered and urban environments through resistance to jamming and tampering and providing covertness.
  • A very long battery life is achieved through the low transmit power (3 mW).
  • An omni-directional antenna prevents tampering through a 360 degree field of view.
  • Networkability is achieved since the sensed data can be transferred to a destination many kilometers away.
  • Detection can be achieved from multiple directions since Line of Sight (LOS) is not required.
Potential Applications

GuardDog sensor networks can be used to reliably monitor a wide range of environments for civilian applications including habitat monitoring, environment observation, health monitoring, home automation, and smart home/office environments. Furthermore, motion detection for strategically important areas could be extremely useful for infrastructure protection and warfare applications such as sniper protection in tactical battlefields, silent monitoring of insurgent activities, and border control.

Development Status

A family of prototypes have been built including sensors with radar ranges up to 40 feet. Prototypes include advanced low-power message hopping protocol, automatic background noise calibration, GPS, and health status checks. This technology had been successfully fielded and tested for DOD in a variety of exercises, including a 5 star node configuration outdoors with satellite exfiltration and simultaneous internet broadcast. Prototypes were also tested 24/7 over several months for DOE in a 12-node network (indoors) with low false alarms. The system is ready for larger deployment.

Reference Number
12206
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