Communicatie- en informatiesystemen en sensoren

Research pole

Signal, systems & sensors, information & intelligence, communication

The SIC develops a high-level expertise in C4I Command, Control, Communication, Computers & Information) systems. The research focuses on the processing of data recorded from a wide area of sensors (radar signals and images, optical and thermal images, navigation signals, radio signals, …) in order to support a decision process. The recorded data can be affected by passive or active countermeasures hampering the information extraction. The processing can range from a simple sensor-specific processing to a large scale AI-based multi-sensor & multi-temporal processing. The expertise that was build-up is applied in both security and Defense related problems.

Research units

Laboratoire d’electromagnétisme appliqué

The research unit is conducting research in the domain of antenna design and wave propagation. It is also conducting Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) testing in compliance with civilian and military standards (EN 61000, MIL-STD-461D and SDIP-27).

Poc: Prof. Marc Piette

 

Near-Field Electromagnetism

The near-field electromagnetics (NFEM) research unit focuses on problems for which the far-field approximation can not be used and specific near-field phenomena play an important role. This is the case for a large number of devices such as electrical motors, passive magnetic detectors, (gradiometers, magnetometers…), electromagnetic induction sensors (EMI) (Metal detectors, wire detectors…) and ground penetrating radars, especially when the antenna is used in close proximity to the soil.

Poc: Prof. Pascal Druyts

 

Cyber Defence

The Cyber Defence research unit aims to be a center of excellence in all aspects of cyber defence: protection, detection, incident response and management. Research topics include Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) detection, detection of compromised IoT devices, social media intelligence and cyber ranges.

Poc: Prof. Wim Mees

Geodesy and GNSS

The research unit focuses on positioning-related problems, mostly using GNSS. In particular, in the field of GNSS, aspects such as performance comparison between different navigation services and their resistance to interference is evaluated. Moreover, the research unit is also active in the operational testing of the Galileo Public Regulated Service.

Poc: Prof. Alain Muls

Image Processing

The aim of the Image Processing Research Unit is to develop tools and methods for solving real world security and defence problems involving images, typically from airborne or spaceborne instruments. Activities range from the combined processing of radar images and optical images, to the extraction of battlefield situational awareness information using artificial intelligence.

Poc: Prof. Xavier Neyt

Laser and Optronics

Throughout the domain of sensors, the knowledge of the object signature (real or simulated) is primordial to understand the detection, reconnaissance and identification performances of these sensors. Although sensors in the radar domain (mostly active) and sensors in the optronics domain (mostly passive) rely on different working principles, the importance of the object signature within the chain of the sensor system is comparable. In optronics, research is conducted in the area of target detection, with application to drone detection and target masking using camouflage nets. Research is also conducted in the use of laser as non-lethal weapon, and amongst others, to blind cameras.

Poc: LtCol Marijke Vandewal

Radio Networks

The Radio Networks research unit contributes to the evolution of the wireless technology by studying and developing algorithms for the lower layers of wireless networks. The main domains of activity resides in software-defined radios, with applications such as cognitive radios and indoor positioning.

Poc: Col Bart Scheers

Radar Signal Processing

The research interests are in the fields of array processing, bistatic radars including bistatic imaging and passive radars. Considered applications are for instance bistatic radar imaging and detection using bistatic radars.

Prof: Xavier Neyt

Laboratories

Radio frequency 

The RF lab is equipped with state-of-the-art measurement apparatus (VNA, spectrum analyzers, I/Q arbitrary waveform generators, power amplifiers, …). This equipment is undergoing a yearly calibration.

Electrical drive

Besides the low-power didactic benches essentially dedicated to teaching activities, the lab is also equipped with high-power (25kW) benches. The equipment comprises power converters and the associated A/D & D/A converters and real-time processing capabilities in order to develop and test control strategies.

Optronics

For the evaluation of performance of the most common military sensors in the optronics domain, the lab is equipped with several fixed optical tables and the necessary test equipment. It provides the possibility to test the sensor performance in harsh conditions (i.e. in the presence of laser dazzlers or the use of camouflage materials).

Drone Detection Lab

The lab is equipped and organised to assess the drone detection performance in the RF, Radar, Optronics and Acoustics domain.

Facilities

Semi-anechoic chamber

The department is operating a medium size semi-anechoic chamber (15 m2) mainly devoted to EMC and EMI testing in compliance with civilian and military standards (EN 61000, MIL-STD-461D and SDIP-27). The chamber is equipped with a rotating table and remote operation is possible.

Reverberation chamber

A small (10m2) Faraday cage that can also be used as a mode-stirred reverberation chamber to perform immunity (EMI) testing.

Computing cluster

The Signal and Image Centre has its own opportunistic cluster. It comprises about 150 cpus for a total of about 300GBytes of RAM and more than 130TBytes of disks and is running Linux. It is installed with Matlab, Labview, IDL/ENVI and the usual range of compilers and development tools.

Experimental radar range

The experimental radar range consists in a VNA-based radar able to operate in the frequency range between 1 and 26GHz. It can be configured either to measure RCS of small objects placed on a rotating table. The objects can be up to approximately 1m3. It can also be configured in SAR mode, the antennas being placed on a rail with a length of 3m.

Bistatic radar receiving platform

The bistatic radar receiving platform consists in a dedicated 8 channels 16 bits 128MS/s acquisition system connected to an array antenna and the associated down-conversion RF electronics currently configured to receive signals in C-band (5GHz).

Laser Tunnel

With a length of 15 m and a width of 4 m, the laser tunnel offers a controlled and safe environment for testing laser performance, as a stand-alone system, or in combination with optronics sensors. The tunnel is equipped with a fixed and a mobile optical table, a series of lasers, and detection and beam analysis equipment.