Military’s reliance on applications equipped with sensors has increased with growing need for data acquisition in modern warfare. Sensors are electronic systems which record and gather information in the form of images, sound, thermal or positional changes. Sensors are used across many military applications such has radar systems, persistent surveillance systems, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's), advanced missile systems, military robots, among others. Different types of sensors used in military are acoustic sensors, littoral sensors; acoustic, magnetic, hybrid and other mine detection sensors, etc.
Currently, the armed forces are mostly engaged in unconventional warfare where gathering accurate information about potential threat becomes crucial. Consequently, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions have become an important part of modern military tactics. Imaging technologies such as electro-optical and infra-red (EO/IR) are important during ISR missions as EO/IR systems help in collecting high-resolution data during daytime and infrared imagery during night. In armed forces, demand for EO/IR based equipment such as aircrafts, military land vehicles, UAV payload systems and naval vessels are increasing. Most of the ISR missions in the war zones are carried out through manned and UAVs.
ISR assets mounted with numerous sensors are capable of providing extensive data; however, the major challenge is to build capabilities to analyse and provide fused intelligence rapidly to execute appropriate actions. Sensors in synergy with big data platforms would be one of the major enablers for next generation military avionics as they will help in real time streaming of data. In addition, interoperability of ISR assets across different combat systems and affordability are other challenges for ISR systems.
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