A great success for Łukasiewicz - PIAP: two projects with EDF funding

The European Commission has announced a list of projects that will receive funding under the European Defence Fund (EDF). Among them, there are two Łukasiewicz – PIAP projects. One of them, DeterMine, is the first ever EDF project coordinated by an entity from Poland.

Łukasiewicz Research Network – Industrial Automation and Measurements Institute (PIAP) submitted two applications in the EDF’s 2022 competition. Both were accepted. The projects covered by the funding are DeterMine (Detect and Recognize Mines and IEDs hidden in the environment), which was selected in the “Digital Transformation” category, and SWAT-SHOAL in the “Underwater Technologies” category.

The DeterMine project

The aim of the DeterMine project is to verify the concept of a modular, multi-sensor and cross-platform solution for detecting and identifying hidden threats – in a number of configurations taking into account different types of such threats and changing environmental conditions. The project will compare solutions developed by different consortia.

The project will contribute to the expansion of the European knowledge base and the creation of universal benchmarks for the evaluation of landmine and improvised explosive device (IED) detection systems. Ultimately, this will provide better protection for personnel and infrastructure and greater freedom of action for armed forces.

The implementation of the project will involve combining many different types of threat sensors and integrating manned and unmanned vehicles. Particular emphasis will be placed on efficient data capture, improvement of threat detection and identification performance using data fusion and artificial intelligence algorithms, as well as enhancement of the key metrics – the accuracy of detecting and classifying hidden threats and assessing their features. The implementation of the project will be based on an agile approach, allowing the testing of different technologies, different combinations of sensors and different data fusion algorithms.   

The DeterMine consortium, led by Łukasiewicz – PIAP, comprises experts from five European countries, specialising in various fields. The project involves SMEs, research units and industrial partners with extensive experience gained from previous European initiatives in detecting hidden threats, such as the EDA IEDDET programme.

The SWAT-SHOAL project

The SWAT-SHOAL project develops the concept of a System of Systems (SoS) that integrates various types of manned and unmanned vehicles into a swarm to achieve greater efficiency in underwater missions, such as surveillance, reconnaissance, mine-laying operations, or support of amphibious operations. The project focuses on technological innovations such as swarms of unmanned systems, underwater communications and vehicle autonomy to increase the navy’s versatility and capabilities.

The scope of the project will cover various phases of the mission: swarm deployment, initial self-organisation, route planning, task execution and swarm recovery, as well as integration with command and control systems, including interaction with sonar buoys, divers and support vessels. The main phases of the SWAT-SHOAL project are the definition of the operational concept, research into the technology and validation through simulation and demonstration at sea.

The SWAT-SHOAL project, led by Navantia and technically coordinated by SENER, involves 20 players from 11 countries, including large companies, research units, SMEs and mid-cap companies. Lukasiewicz – PIAP’s involvement in the project focuses on supporting work related to the standardisation of collaboration mechanisms for unmanned platforms and communication between platforms and humans. The institute will also coordinate the demonstration of the operation of some of the subsystems in a simulated environment. 

The goal of SWAT-SHOAL is to achieve a significant competitive advantage by defining new defence markets, as well as products of this nature, many of which are dual-use. The project also aims to position European products on markets where they are not currently present.

Cooperation for defence

In 2023, Łukasiewicz – PIAP established international cooperation in the field of R&D work for defence with over EUR 2.5 M worth of external financing. Further similar initiatives are under way.