An indicative list of National and European Research projects follows:
LOTUS – Low Observable Tactical Unmanned Air System
The LOTUS project addresses the feasibility, detailed design, prototyping and testing of a low-observable, airworthy and interoperable Tactical Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (TRPAS) targeted at ISR missions. This project aims at addressing an important need of EU Member States which is the capability of TRPAS to operate in contested environments, which is clearly expressed in the Common Operational Requirements agreed upon by the Hellenic, Cypriot and Dutch MoDs who support the project.
The development will include: a mothership TRPAS equipped with ISR sensors, designed for low observability and high endurance, incorporating a self-protection system against enemy threats; a system of tube-launched, foldable-wing drones, deployable from the mothership, while this later remains at a safe distance; on-board sensor data processing capabilities for target detection, recognition, identification and classification; and a ground station which will be designed by the “security-by-design” principles.
The LOTUS project is funded by the European Defense Industrial Development Program (EDIDP) and the MoDs of Greece and Cyprus. The LOTUS consortium is led by IDE (coordinator) and consists of 11 partners from Greece (IDE, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, ALTUS, CFT, University of Patras and Hellenic Air Force Telecommunications-Electronic Means Plant), Cyprus (SignalGenerix, Cyric, Geoimaging), Spain (Embention) and Holland (RHEA).
SMOTANET – Development of Software Defined Mobile Ad-hoc Tactical Network Devices and Testbed
The objectives of the SMOTANET project are to design a modular, adaptive and secure tactical network. To achieve this, the SMOTANET project will: (i) Design tactical devices that integrate three different technologies, namely, Software Defined Radio (SDR), Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET) and Software Defined Networks (SDN) and (ii) Develop testbeds based on the aforementioned devices that will be used to test and evaluate operational scenarios and the corresponding technical solutions according to well defined metrics.
The Studies will deliver operational scenarios and technical requirements in cooperation with the Greek and Cypriot MoDs. The Design Activities will deliver the design specifications of the controller and the switch as well as a testbed that can evaluate the performance of relative networks under realistic conditions. Specifically, the testbeds will realize representative tactical scenarios, they will implement controller-to-controller, controller-to-switch and switch-to-switch links and will ultimately unite them in a holistic network-wide network control architecture managed by SDN controllers.
The SMOTANET project is funded by the European Defense Industrial Development Program (EDIDP) and the SMOTANET consortium, which is led by IDE (coordinator), consists of 5 partners from Greece (IDE, Gridnet, Athens University of Economics and Business), Cyprus (SignalGenerix) and Poland (ITTi).
OCEAN2020 – Open Cooperation for European Maritime Awareness
IDE participates in OCEAN2020, the most important project related to the first European Defense Fund’s initiative to boost Europe’s defence capabilities. The project was issued by the European Union under the ‘Preparatory Action on Defense Research’ and was selected for funding through a competitive procedure that was conducted by the European Defense Agency.
The OCEAN2020 team, which is led by Leonardo, comprises of 42 partners from 15 European countries, including the Ministries of Defense of Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Lithuania, with additional support from the Ministries of Defense of Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, Estonia and the Netherlands.
OCEAN2020 is the first example of a cross-European military research program. It integrates unmanned platforms of different type (fixed wing, rotary wing, surface and underwater) with naval units’ command and control centers, allowing data exchange via satellite with command and control centers on land. It involves two live demonstrations of maritime surveillance and interdiction operations in the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea, conducted by European fleets using unmanned aircraft, surface vessels and underwater systems. IDE provides to the consortium the SeaRider Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) that was used for maritime surveillance and interdiction operations in the Mediterranean Sea Demo. IDE is also responsible for different tasks related to the requirements analysis of the USVs, to the communication architectures and technologies that are used in the consortium and to the security of communications (COMSEC) and information (INFOSEC). Moreover, IDE is the single Point of Contact of the whole consortium with the Greek Ministry of Defense.
DELAER – Novel BWB UAV Platform
IDE is responsible for the communication system, the electronics of the vehicle and the Ground Control Station. State-of-the-art electronics and telecommunication systems will be developed in order to satisfy the operational requirements and they will be capable of operating under adverse weather and environmental conditions. The aerial vehicle will communicate with the GCS through encrypted radio-communications. A data gathering and management software will also support the operations of the DELAER system.
The main goal of the DELAER research project is the design, development, manufacturing and flight testing of a prototype Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System (UAVS), which will provide direct support to Greek isolated territories and islands, via aerial delivery of lifesaving supplies and dedicated equipment. The system will be based on a large-scale, autonomous, fixed-wing, novel Blended Wing Body (BWB) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) configuration, as well as a portable Ground Control Station (GCS). The DELAER mission involves cruising to the point of interest, payload delivery and cruising back to the base of operations.
The DELAER program is funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI) and is being implemented by a consortium consisting of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IDE and CFT.
AVICOM – Development of an Innovative Communications System to increase situational awareness in the event of natural disasters
AVICOM aims at developing an integrated telecommunications system for the Command and Control (C2) of public safety and security forces, through enhanced situational awareness in natural disasters scenarios. IDE’s role in the project consists in implementing a secure and resilient Flying Ad hoc Network (FANET) for interconnecting aerial assets with the C2 center, as well as developing the C2 centre software. IDE has also a key role in determining the security requirements of the system and implementing adequate security mechanisms (TRANSEC and COMSEC) for guaranteeing the system’s operational integrity.
The AVICOM program is funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI).
PRIVILEGE – Privacy and Homomorphic Encryption for Artificial Intelligence
IDE participates in the PRIVELEGE project (PADR-FDDT-03-2019 – Future Disruptive Defense Technologies), led by THALES SIX GTS FRANCE SAS. The goal of PRIVILEGE is to mix AI technologies with private-preserving tools such as Homomorphic Encryption (HE), Verifiable Computing and Private Aggregation of Teacher Ensembles (PATE) approaches, in order to be able to exploit confidential military and defensive data all along the life-cycle of AI methods, with a focus on the learning step.
IDE, in the context of the project, will lead the definition of PRIVILEGE Use Cases and will provide and execute a use case related to maritime ISR using IDE’s USV.
INTERACT – Interoperability Standards for Unmanned Systems
IDE participates in the INTERACT project which aims to create a basis for a future European interoperability standard for military unmanned systems. Specifically, the project’s goal is to integrate the technical knowledge and operational experience available in Europe on control, monitoring, and application of unmanned systems for the concept definition of a future European cross-industry interoperability standard. This standard will allow unmanned assets to be deployed flexibly in different configurations, such as singular deployment, in manned-unmanned teaming or as autonomous swarms independent of organizational or national provenance. IDE is responsible for the Data Link Interoperability.
The INTERACT project is funded by the Preparatory Action on Defense Research.
Horizon 2020 – HERMES
IDE participates in the HORIZON2020 project “HERMES” (High Efficiency wiReless CMOS transceiver boosted by artificial intelligencE for 6G bandS and beyond). The project focus on sub-THz frequencies and breaks new ground in the conversion of information from digital to THz, using European CMOS technology, to develop a highly integrated transceiver. The project will produce a chipset of a low-cost radio that exchanges tens of Gbps and will test it in use cases of unmanned vehicles operated by civil authorities.
IDE in the context of the project, will test the HERMES chipset in the area of communications for unmanned sea vehicles. The HERMES project is funded under the framework of HORIZON 2020 – FETOPEN-01-2020 and is being implemented by a consortium of 6 partners from 5 European countries, led by the Université de Bordeaux.
HORIZON 2020 RE-COGNITION – Renewable Cogeneration & Storage Technologies Integration for Energy Autonomous Buildings
IDE participates in the HORIZON2020 project “RE-COGNITION – REnewable COGeneration and storage techNologies IntegraTIon for energy autONomous buildings”. RE-COGNITION proposes a holistic, end-to-end Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) integration framework towards energy positive buildings with a focus on small and medium sized buildings in Europe. Through an envisaged Automated Cognitive Energy Management Engine, Renewable Energies will be utilized more efficiently paired with appropriate storage technologies and innovative energy systems to meet the electricity and heating/cooling demand of the buildings.
In this project IDE is responsible for system integration. Specifically RE-COGNITION envisages a systems’ integration methodology that will be able to quickly and effectively both adapt the RE-COGNITION components and platform to the evolving technological scenarios while taking into account feedbacks and hits coming from the RE-COGNITION pilots. IDE participates also in the design and development of a Cross-Functional RET Integration Platform and in the Small Scale Pilots Realization and Impact Assessment.
The RE-COGNITION project is funded under the framework of HORIZON 2020 and is being implemented by a multinational consortium led by Politecnico di Torino.
HCUAV – Hellenic Civil Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
IDE has participated in a consortium for the development of a Hellenic Civil Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – HCUAV, whose mission is to support civil protection services and public safety in Greece and abroad. The development and the use of HCUAV give significant advantage to the users because it can send images, geo-referencing targets and operational status and pictures in real time.
IDE has provided a significant contribution to the program as it was responsible for the electro-optical system, the wireless encrypted communications, the mobile ground station and the intelligent software system with command and control capabilities. Specifically, the HCUAV communications rely on the IDE’s innovative broadband communications system Spart@n, which provides sophisticated and reliable network-centric communications in real time. This gives a distinct advantage in situational awareness and acts as a force and effectiveness multiplier at various operations which will use the HCUAV.
The HCUAV program has been funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI) and has been implemented by a consortium consisting of three Universities and two SMEs.
IDE has designed and delivered to ESA the RF UNIT of the SPARK Transponder which is a microwave transponder at the Ku‐band. This transponder represents a strong target of known and steady radar cross section with extremely stable internal delay to accurately calibrate and monitor the range and the sigma‐naught (back‐scattering coefficient) of CryoSat‐2, Sentinel‐3, Sentinel‐6/Jason‐CS, as well as the Jason, HY‐2, etc. The transponder serves as a calibration and monitoring equipment for these satellite altimeter observations.