December 19, 2023

Enhancing Ultra Long-Range Detection in Conflict Zones with Leonardo's NERIO-ULR

The modern battlefield is marked by the emergence of new threats that are more difficult to detect, such as small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and covert maritime objects. The ongoing conflicts in regions like Ukraine and the Middle East highlight the growing challenge of reliably identifying these threats across expansive terrains and busy maritime environments. In these high-risk scenarios, distinguishing between a genuine threat and a non-threatening entity is critical for national security and operational effectiveness.

Long-range detection capabilities are indispensable in these theaters of conflict, affording defense forces the vital seconds or minutes needed to mount an appropriate response. The diminutive size of small UAS and their ability to merge with the background of a cluttered battlefield make them particularly challenging targets. Similarly, the maritime domain presents its own set of complexities where innocuous vessels can conceal adversarial activities.

Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) into defense technologies revolutionizes how militaries confront these challenges. These advanced tools can rapidly analyze vast amounts of data from multiple sensor inputs, distill meaningful information, and negate the "fog of war" that often hampers decision-making processes.

Leonardo's NERIO-ULR system is at the forefront of this technological evolution. As a state-of-the-art modular Electro-Optical Surveillance, Threat Acquisition (STA), and Reconnaissance platform, NERIO-ULR is designed to provide exceptional long-range detection capabilities for a multitude of military applications, including border and coastal surveillance and vehicular-based reconnaissance. Notably, the NERIO-ULR sits at the heart of the Royal Air Force ORCUS Counter UAS program of record, where it’s demonstrated its effectiveness in real-world scenarios.

Key Features of NERIO-ULR

  • A gyro-stabilized platform for steadfast visual capability
  • Advanced thermal cooling engine for high operational availability
  • Streamlined maintenance through an LRU (Line Replaceable Unit) approach
  • An array of high-definition sensors, including daylight cameras and an optional eye-safe laser rangefinder
  • Embedded AI/ML for smart target discrimination and embedded close-loop target tracking
  • Flexible architecture for customization to meet unique operational demands.

As the battlefield evolves, becoming increasingly saturated with hard-to-detect threats, the NERIO-ULR serves as a pillar of innovative surveillance and reconnaissance. It embodies the synergy between the operator's strategic expertise and cutting-edge machine intelligence, ensuring that our forces are equipped with superior situational awareness and defensive capabilities.

NERIO-ULR is not merely a product of technological advancement but a critical partner in safeguarding security in an increasingly complex threat landscape. By reinforcing defense strategies with its superior detection and identification capabilities, NERIO-ULR is an asset where clarity and precision are not just required—they are imperative for success and safety.