It may not look like much, but this anonymous-looking plastic box could represent the future of military sensor and surveillance systems. It’s a prototype of a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) design for a modular sensor system for military applications called ADAPT, an acronym DARPA somehow manages to get from Adaptable Sensor System …
Inside the ADAPT box is effectively the guts of a smartphone running a customised version of Android. Different sensor equipment can be then be slotted into place as required, reducing both lead-times and costs.
“We’re excited to have the first reference design for a small, adaptable ground sensor and look forward to testing a significant number of these new sensors in field scenarios starting this summer,” said Mark Rich, DARPA program manager. “We believe that the ADAPT building block approach—where you take the ADAPT core and easily plug it into any number of ISR sensor reference designs—will transform how the military Services and the defense industry approach ISR sensor research and development. This method has the promise of being much more cost-effective, faster to the warfighter, and easier to refresh with technology upgrades.”
ADAPT will initially be used for ground-based sensors, with plans to expand its role into “airborne, sea and undersea sensor designs”. It has already been tested in a Quadrocopter, as very briefly demonstrated in a video that, well, looks like any other quadrocopter flight.