During AUSA 2017 in Washington DC, the Polish defence company WB Group unveiled its U-GATE system for dismounted soldiers for the first time. It utilises augmented reality technology which superimposes computer-generated images into the user’s field of view.
U-GATE is a C4ISR-E(xtended) system that enables Special Forces operatives to direct strikes from loitering munitions, such as the Warmate System (also manufactured by WB Group), and analyse the battlefield. U-GATE includes a headset that uses Augmented Reality (AR) Technology providing Special Forces with the ability to visualise the battlefield and add information or markers that can instantly be viewed in both their and other operative’s field of view. Further, U-GATE enables full control over nearby UAVs using a virtual ground control station (GCS) user interface displayed in front of the soldier.
Augmented reality will enable quick and efficient access to data for each soldier without the need to look away from the battlefield towards the screen on a handheld device. Additionally, AR will make it easier for soldiers to interpret commands and battlefield data to the surroundings, particularly when under pressure.
In addition to an Augmented Reality headset, the U-GATE system includes the wideband software defined radio, Perad, to allow for data transmission between different headsets and operators of loitering munitions, and a portable computer to process the acquired data. The headset which includes sensors, video cameras, and high-resolution displays has a mass of under 1.5 kg.
The U-GATE system enables the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop to be enacted by small groups of soldiers. The U-GATE system incorporates observation, analysis and strike abilities into one device and allows for full independence of Special Forces Units. Therefore, small combat groups can operate completely autonomously in difficult to access or isolated areas using the U-GATE system.
The U-GATE system allows each soldier to observe the battlefield and simultaneously:
• See the location of their troops on a digital map, including terrain view, using the built-in camera;
• Identify opposing forces;
• Receive a live-stream video from each of the U-GATE headset’s integrated video cameras;
• Send and receive emails with attached photos, archived/saved voice and video recordings;
• Receive information from a UAV and operate/control the loitering munition WARMTE;
• Receive voice and text commands;
• Transfer/forward data about detected targets to higher levels of command;
• Easily measure the distance and position of objects in their field of view.
Dr. Robert Czulda