Scanning Laser Automatic Threat Extraction


Surveillance systems can quickly overwhelm the humans monitoring them. It is a task requiring sustained focus with multiple sources of information to concentrate on. With SLATE we’ve attempted to take the load off the user by making threats detectable by the machine.


Our sensor has been designed to provide precision location tracking. Using a Scanning Laser Rangefinder (SLR), SLATE can produce either a 2D cross-section or a 3D model of the target area. Within this data set, objects can be identified and located precisely. SLATE can pinpoint a target’s location to within 1 centimetre, as well as provide information about the size and shape of a target, and how fast that target is moving. Furthermore, the sensor is aware of its environment and periodically checks for changes. For example, it could identify a suspect package left behind in a busy public area. As SLATE uses Infra-red laser technology rather than images from cameras, it is not affected by camouflage or low light levels.


We’ve designed SLATE to work within the SAPIENT system, and provides a complimentary view of the world to the other sensors within the system. In June 2016, we spent a week at QinetiQ’s Thruckmorton Trials and Industrial Site demonstrating the effectiveness of SLATE within the SAPIENT system. The demonstration primarily focused on the identification of vehicles, such as whether an object was a car, truck, or motorbike. It also looked at behavioural changes of vehicles, such as one making a sudden u-turn.

We were incredibly pleased with the outcome of the demonstration, as SLATE was proven to be a highly capable surveillance tool as part of SAPIENT. This was despite working during one of the hottest weeks of the year, with temperatures regularly exceeding 25 degrees centigrade.


Automatic threat detection
System identifies objects such as cars. Looks for behavioural changes like sudden U-turns.

Low light operation
SLATE uses Infra-red laser technology so is not affected by low light levels.

Pin-point accuracy
Can locate target location to within 1 centimetre.