Challenge Topics

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A partner nation has been facing unrest fueled by foreign actors. At this nation’s request NATO deployed an operation to support its stabilization effort. 

From the outset, the NATO troops have been targeted by insurgents using guerilla techniques leveraging off-the-shelf technology to develop weapons such as swarms of unmanned systems.


A NATO patrol drives through a town and stops near the town hall. Soldiers dismount from their vehicles and secure the area around the town hall. The patrol leader has got a meeting with the mayor to obtain information about the city and the population.

Suddenly a combined attack by air and ground drones takes place. The swarm conducted previous reconnaissance to locate and observe the patrol. The drones are equipped with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to attack the patrol while it is moving or when it stops.

The troops have to defend themselves against the drones without endangering the civilian population.

Therefore they also need to get as much information as early as possible about the attacking drones.


Can you help the troops and provide solutions in the following fields?

solution proposal can address one or more of the following topics

1) Situation awareness / ground sensor net

Collecting and assessing data from various sensors networked together to detect and locate enemy drones. Easy deployment of sensors shortly before the patrol arrives in the city. Possibility to get video streams from different points of interest when a sensor triggers an alarm.

Characteristics of the solutions:

  • passive infrared, seismic, magnetic, photo, video, audio, radiofrequency (RF), with GPS tracking of the device, 

  • ability to display data in a common open geospatial display interface with alerts

  • Compute: capable of performing baseline characterization and anomaly detection within and across all sensor feeds

  • Communication: the ability to communicate the presence of an anomaly using low power RF (LoRA, WSPR, etc)/cellular network and WIFI

2) Detection and identification of enemy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicle (UGV)

Ensuring timely detection, identification and exact position location within secure range in order to immediately activate counter measures.

Characteristics of the solutions:

Different types of UAV and UGV should be recognized by RF-signature, seismic actions, KI-powered image recognition or other characteristics. 

All detection systems should be highly mobile, should be able to be transported and mounted very fast and easy (max. 2 persons and 10 min.), and be linked with sensors and actuators.

3) UAV and UGV Defense

Enabling quick, secure and successful countermeasures in order to stop, destroy or overtake hostile or unknown Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).

Characteristics of the solutions:

This could be done by kinetic, electronic, hacking or other measures.

Since the scenario is set in an urban terrain, civilian collateral damages have to be avoided.

All defense systems should be highly mobile, should be able to be transported and mounted very fast and easy, and to be linked with sensors and detection systems.