Simphiwe Mkwelo

SMkwelo_Your eyes and ears in the battlefield: Optical and radar/radio frequency sensor research and development

Simphiwe Mkwelo
Mkwelo is an electronic engineer and leads optronics sensor systems at the CSIR. He holds a Master’s degree in electronic engineering from the University of Cape Town. His research interests include remote sensing (radar and optical), simulation and modelling, image processing and pattern recognition.

About the talk: Mkwelo will outline sensor research for the military environment, which is improving the country’s surveillance performance, as well as the ability of aircraft to avoid missiles.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is involved in peacekeeping missions in the African environment where shoulder-launched missiles are commonly available and are a major threat. The SANDF is also involved in safeguarding the country’s land, air and maritime environments to ensure protection of our borders against illegal immigrants, smugglers, illegal fishing etc. These are typical problem areas where radars and optical sensor technology can be used to maximum effect. These sensors are useful for early warning to allow for sufficient time to deploy countermeasures for improved self-protection. They are also useful in obtaining improved situation awareness for border surveillance.

The research activities involve characterising the sensor, the threat, the countermeasure and the environment under which engagements could be taking place.


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