in Defence / Security

Dstl shares new open-source framework

Posted 15 May 2019 · Add Comment

A new open-source software framework designed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and developed by the 5-eyes nations (UK, US, Australia, NZ and Canada) – known as 'Stone Soup' – is now available to help improve tracking technology.


Tracking and state estimation is a vital part of Defence research; being better able to track enemy missiles, vehicles or drones is essential for operational effectiveness. However, the algorithms that crunch the data are complex and difficult to compare. This software framework allows the algorithms to be compared, side-by-side, in a 'bake-off' against realistic data.

Leading the project across the 5-eyes nations of UK, USA, Australia, NZ and Canada, Dstl has made the project available to anyone wanting to upload and test their tracking algorithms.

The framework, called Stone Soup, is a software architecture which allows code components to be plugged-in in a modular fashion, such as algorithms, sensor models and simulators.

Users can then model a huge number of outcomes, which can be measured on how they improve survivability, safety, or operational effectiveness. This even has non-defence uses: for example tracking systems are a key component in self-driving cars to ensure the car can be aware of and follow all vehicles and people in its vicinity.

Stone Soup will facilitate and encourage other algorithm developers or tracking practitioners to insert their new components, which can then be compared alongside accepted or state-of-the-art algorithms to help the developers and industry / Government laboratories evaluate them against standard data sets. Alternatively industry can insert their own data into the framework and run this against the standard suite of tracking algorithms it contains. One day this could provide better tracking capabilities for a whole range of difficult problems such as following a swarm of fast drones, tracking space-clutter around the International Space Station or understanding the movements of migrant vessels in the Mediterranean.

This is just one example of the multinational collaboration in science and technology which Dstl engages in. The initiative is supported by four other nations’ Defence labs, including Defence Research and Development Canada, which is contributing to its development.

Professor Paul Thomas, a Senior Principal Scientist at Dstl, said: "We are really excited to be making Stone Soup available to other tracking practitioners giving us the potential to be high-impact in multiple communities. It’s a ‘standard’ platform for tracking algorithm development and for testing and benchmarking, which will be a huge benefit for the academic and Defence community.

"The framework is in its infancy but the long-term aim is to save lives by having data that can accurately track adversaries, giving commanders in the battlefield full situational awareness.

"It’s an accelerated learning aid for people who are just coming into this area too. Before this, it could have taken months, even years, to learn the detailed mathematics of tracking. This is a fantastic tool with so many benefits; I hope lots of experts can join us in using and contributing to this framework."

For further information, click here

The software is free and is available on Github with some datasets from Dstl are available for download below:

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

NCA launches its National Strategic Assessment

There are at least 181,000 offenders linked to serious and organised crime (SOC) in the UK, the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed today, as it launched its National Strategic Assessment (NSA) 2019 – the most comprehensive study yet of

Eric Beranger appointed CEO of MBDA

Eric Beranger is to be MBDA’s new Chief Executive Officer, with effect from 1st June 2019, replacing Antoine Bouvier.

Heathrow to commence statutory consultation on its expansion plans

Heathrow announced today that its statutory 12 and a half-week consultation on its expansion plans will launch on the 18th of June.

First student takes solo flight from modernised ETPS

Flt Lt Ed Eldred has made the first solo flight as a student from the recently modernised Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS).

FUCHS extends apprenticeship programme.

FUCHS Lubricants, which currently has 13 apprentices operating from its UK headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, is now on the search for more youngsters to join the growing team.

Birmingham Airport's April passenger numbers up +4.1%

Birmingham Airport welcomed 1,002,473 passengers through its terminal doors during the month of April, this is up +4.1% up on the same month last year.

ODU 0201311219
See us at
VIDSE BT1605060320DSEI JP BT1605201119SMIFAVWS BT1302060619