Defusing Threats through Innovation

15 May 2023

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosive (CBRE) threats? No worries, not when there’s a brand new CBRE Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) on the block!

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Team members from DSTA.

Designed and developed in close collaboration between DSTA’s technologists and the Singapore Combat Engineer CBRE Defence Group (CBRE DG), the CBRE ROV is a multi-functional robotics platform capable of detecting, identifying, and mitigating a wide range of CBRE threats remotely. It was commissioned at the Engineer Formation Workplan Seminar on 4 May 2023.

As the overall programme manager, our technologists led the efforts in acquiring, evaluating, and integrating CBRE equipment and technologies sourced and identified across the market to deliver a ROV that would augment the CBRE DG’s capabilities and increase operational flexibility. The team also adopted the Design-for-Support concept – a design approach that focuses on enabling ease of maintenance – to allow a high level of availability for the ROV.

One of the CBRE ROV’s key capabilities is its ability to interoperate with in-service CBRE equipment such as weapons and sensors to perform a variety of missions. Equipped with multiple cameras to provide enhanced situational awareness, it is able to avoid obstacles, self-stabilise on uneven terrain, and even adjust its width and height dynamically to navigate through various environments.

Team lead and Programme Manager (Land Systems) Justin Lim explained: “Having one common platform which can perform multiple missions helps to streamline training for the operators, and enables economies of scale for maintenance and support.”

Not only is the ROV designed to be modular to allow for quick changing of components, it is also equipped with health monitoring and logging systems to enable predictive maintenance measures.

Programme Manager (Systems Management) Jasmine Leong added: “The CBRE DG is part of the High Readiness Core task force, which demands high availability of equipment to meet their intense operations tempo. Henceforth, aside from ensuring system performance, making sure the system was well designed for subsequent operations and support was also critical from the start.”

Delivery of this important robotics capability would not have been possible without the close partnership and trust between the team and the operational users. Justin added: “The mutual trust built between DSTA and our SAF partners throughout the process strengthened our relationship, allowing us to push the boundaries to deliver a system that exceeds the expectation of the users.”

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Members of DSTA management with their SAF counterparts.