Advanced surveillance for Pakistan, China borders and 3D mapping for Kashmir operations developed, being tested


LEH: In the backdrop of a major anti- infiltration system being operationalised along the India- Pakistan border earlier this month, more high-tech equipment for border surveillance, perimeter security and counter-terrorist operations have been developed for deployment in Kashmir and the borders with Pakistan and China.

The equipment are also aimed to not only reduce infiltration and intrusions, but also provide 3D mapping of terrorist prone areas in Kashmir with a data backup for planning future operations. Some of these systems could also prevent BAT actions and Pathankot and Uri type attacks.

These developments were shared by the systems’ developers, Cron Systems, an Indian startup, in partnership with a California based technology firm, Quanergy Systems. Cron Systems has also setup three “technology centres” in Kashmir and Ladakh for repairing, maintaining and customising army electro-optical equipment. This is in view of lack of adequate technical support in remote areas. It plans to open a total of eight centres along the Line of Control (LoC).

Two surveillance systems and the technology centres were launched on Wednesday night by Cron Systems in Leh in the presence of senior army officers of the 14 Corps, which has a mandate of guarding the Line of Actual (LAC) with China in Eastern Ladakh. According to the firm, the army is testing one of these equipment, called the Kavach Z, along the LoC. It is also likely to be tested along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh over the next few months. The other equipment called the GeoSight has just been launched, but is yet to be deployed.

Sources explained that what is badly needed in the region is surveillance equipment that can work at altitudes where temperatures dip to -40 degrees. While the situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh is peaceful and the number of intrusions by the Chinese is much less this year as compared to last year, surveillance is still an important requirement. The army has asked some industries to come to Nyoma and ahead of Partapur (Siachen brigade location) during November and December for the evaluation of their logistics and surveillance equipment. The army wants to check whether they can function in such weather.

The Kavach Z, which employs different sensors, is being pitted by Cron Systems for preventing intrusions by providing “actionable intelligence” about potential attacks. It provides 360-degree situational awareness to security forces by detecting objects and persons approaching a perimeter as far as 200m. Tushar Chhabra, co-founder and CEO of Cron Systems, explains that it provides a 3-D mapping system for tracking such objects. He adds that it classifies a threat and a non-threat on the mapping screen, such as differentiating between a person and animal by using colour coding. “The colour red has been defined as the threat, while green is for human and few identified colours for animals,” he explains.

“The Kavach Z has been deployed at a particular patch along the Line of Control and is undergoing trials since the past two months. The trials will continue for the next three months with the army examining it and giving their feedback, which has been good so far,” he explained to ET. Army sources added that the trials of surveillance equipment of several companies have been done along the LoC.

The GeoSight which works similarly has a design that makes it capable of creating a 3D visualisation of the surrounding area, even in adverse environmental conditions and at night, according to Cron Systems. The GeoSight is setup on a vehicle and consists of sensors at the front and back for tracking the road and the surrounding terrain, including houses, walls, vehicles and movement. It can track up to 150 m. Like the Kavach Z, it also classifies the threat using colour coding. The data is saved and placed on a virtual map, creating a 3D view. “Imagine, making army vehicles into such data centres. This will be the first step towards situational awareness…The vehicle with the device is creating a map… It will be handy for counter terrorist operations and perimeter security,” explained Tushar.

The system comes in the backdrop of the army working on digital mapping of villages in Kashmir to facilitate counter-terrorist operations and prevent casualties.


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