Cameras that can autonomously identify the enemy could soon be part of the arsenal of weapons used by troops in urban warfare.
Experts predict urban warfare is not only unavoidable but expect it to dominate the operational environment of the future.
But the answer could lie in hundreds of intelligent sensors and cameras – fixed, mobile and in the air.
SAPIENT, a new system developed by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), was tested during the Contested Urban Environment (CUE) 21 Experiment, a multi-national event in Portsmouth.
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Christopher Briggs, UK National Lead for CUE Experiment 2021, told Forces News they are trying to develop a technology that helps "develop an understanding of what's happening in the city".
Serving as the autonomous eyes on the battlefield, each camera uses artificial intelligence to decide what information should be sent back to a central hub.
So, instead of troops having to watch live feeds from cameras looking for enemy movements, the artifical intelligence in the sensors would do the job for them.
"We are working on the concept of a unified headquarters, so how we can pull loads of feeds from various sources together to help the operators in the headquarters understand the sheer complexity of an urban environment," Mr Briggs said.
"And really filter and only show those events that really matter to the operators in the headquarters."