Using multiple sensor modalities to resolve a single target type dramatically improves detection, identification, and localization of targets, while simultaneously reducing false alarms and issues with single modality clutter and noise. Multimodal sensor integration can include cross cueing, using wide field of view sensors for initial detections, and more accurate narrow field of view sensors for detailed interrogation of targets. Any number of modalities can be integrated together, from radar, to RF and electric field sensors, to EO/IR and acoustics, to chemo sensing and seismic detectors. This multimodal integration is not simply looking at the same target in multiple sensing dimensions — it also uses context about events related to a target to improve understanding of the target and its actions.
The SWIFT system [Sense Warn Investigate Find/Fix Track/Target] is an example of SSCI’s multimodal sensor integration, using acoustic sensors and EO/IR cameras to help resolve active shooter or hostile fire situations in urban spaces. The system uses a small array of omnidirectional non-line of sight acoustic sensors, to create a persistent and pervasive sensor network, able to detect and localize weapon fire. Cognitive sensing uses environmental information to deal with multipath, and create a small search area and provide ballistic information about the source weapon.