ZEUS UGV – Communications Capability
|The ability to control UGVs in different terrains including urban is crucial to the success of any mission. Zeus has a number of tools to ensure success. Typically, you will want to work at 100-500m. In most situations, you will want to use radio control as this permits the most flexible driving ability and increase manoeuvrability. Zeus has a range of up to 1km and takes advantage of COFDM techniques to ensure excellent video images even in built up areas, inside buildings and tunnels or below ground, such as culverts.|
|Local interference can have an effect on radio commination, so Zeus has multiple channels for both data and video radios, which will allow you to move away from any frequencies that may be affected. The ability to change channel and increase the power of the data radio during the mission will also help you extend your range if you are on the limit of distance.|
|You also need to be confident that the system will not be affected by undesired signals, energy sources, spurious radiation from other transmitters, and natural phenomena. Zeus’ design ensures that immunity from interference is maximised.|
|You need your UGV to respond quickly and precisely to driving commands, and Zeus’ low radio latency ensures a ‘real time’ feel to all operator inputs, crucial when carrying out fine controlled movements such as aiming barrelled disruptors.|
|You may be working in parts of the world that need special frequency bands. Zeus can be supplied with various options to suit local radio licence laws or conditions. The modular design of Zeus allows operators to quickly and easily change the communication system to a different frequency band in minutes and in the field with no special tools.|
|Sound is an important sense that you don’t want to lose working remotely. Being able to hear what is happening remotely at the UGV helps in situational awareness and Zeus’s optional 2 way audio system allows not only the operator to hear what is happening but to also to talk to any potential insurgent, including recording it.|
You may want to operate multiple UGVs at the same time. Using a second UGV’s cameras to look at the UGV on the task can improve situational awareness dramatically. Zeus’ multiple channel set up makes this possible, allowing UGVs to work in close proximity of each other without interference.
|This modular design also allows you to replace your entire communication system if it became damaged. In a matter of minutes this subsystem can be swapped out by the operator and does not require a trained technician. This keeps Zeus up and running and on task.|
|You also need to be confident that an insurgent cannot take control of your UGV. Zeus’ data is encrypted to AES128 to eliminate this risk.|
Sometimes, it’s just not possible to use a radio link. The terrain may not allow it (such as metal ships which can block radio signals), excessive radio noise or you want to use Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) systems (radio jamming). For these occasions, a fibre optic tether is available.
2 lengths are available. A reusable system of 200m and a single use system which is 1000m long.
The tether system simply mounts on the side of the arm for quick deployment.
Operator Control Unit (OCU)
|The Operator Control Station needs to be flexible to allow you to work in any location. That could be on a table top, mounted in a vehicle or even moving around to gain the best strategic position. Zeus’ ergonomically designed modular OCU allows you to do that. The modular units can be removed from the case and easy positioned in a vehicle. They can even be mounted on a Molle/Osprey vest allowing the operator to move around to find the best location without having to worry about placing the OCU down on a surface.This modular system also allows the operator to replace any modules that maybe damaged quickly and easily. Simply unplug the module in question and swap in a replacement one. The changeover takes minutes, can be done in the field and does not require a trained technician. The main part of the OCU consists of standard ruggedized Panasonic Windows based laptop, readily available from a number of sources, so it is easy to source in case of damage.|
|With a quick and simple to learn, highly intuitive touch screen interface, training is minimised and operational success maximised. A simple touch screen control, with a graphic showing the configuration of the UGV at any time, allows you to have an optimum awareness of the current situation. Hardware buttons are eliminated with the touch screen control, allowing software updates to bring in new features without having to replace the OCU. As the software is Windows based, users quickly understand the operating system and can even load additional software onto the OCU for enhanced capability.|
|The on-screen graphic does not just show the UGV. Disruptors, CBRNe sensors and a wide range of other additional tools on the UGV can be simulated on screen, again maximising situational awareness.|
|Image resolution allows you to search for command wires, trip wires and signs of wire concealment to locate suspect devices and then identify components after a positive action has been taken effectively. You may need to read text on suspect objects, especially in a CBRNe procedure when identifying for example chemicals. Zeus’ image resolution allows recognition of such items.|
|All ambient light conditions can be accommodated by the camera lights, including Infra-Red which are controlled from the OCU.|
|Picture in picture display allows up to 4 cameras to be viewed at any one time and can be saved to digital media. There is also an auxiliary port to connect additional screen displays, allowing a bigger screen or other members of the team to view progress of the task.|
|You need to be able to control and manipulate the arm into complex orientations, maybe during a search procedure or to aim disruptors with sufficient precision to carry out the selected task. Zeus’ on screen graphic of the UGV allows you to view in real time its current configuration and adjust it to suit. Complex arm movements are also easily achieved with Zeus’ pre-set moves.|
|The operator can select a number of pre-programmed moves such as fully extended and the arm will move automatically. There is even the option for you to save your own pre-set moves, and different operators can have their own saved selection by using the OCU login function. The on screen graphic simulates the selected move before execution so you can verify the arm and gripper are going to do what you expect.|
Battery status is a critical factor during a mission, and operators need to know quickly and clearly the current battery levels. Both the UGV and OCU battery levels are displayed on the screen. Additional battery data such as number of recharges, serial number, manufacturer etc. is also available. This additional data is crucial for battery management programs, and allows you to go on task knowing that your batteries will not only recharge and hold their charge correctly but also will do it repeatedly.