Ecole Royale Militaire



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Département Communication, Information, Systems and Sensors

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Marc Piette

Professeur ordinaire CISS

Président Conseil de Faculté POL

Nos cours

The educational mission of the department CISS is to organise and dispense courses foreseen in the academic base formation for the candidate officers of the Polytechnical Faculty (POL) and of the Faculty of Social and Military Sciences (SSMW).

Areas of interest covered include modern techniques of positioning and navigation, telecommunications, remote sensing, signal processing of any type (word, image, sensor data) as well as the associated information management and their interpretation.

The professors and assistants are mostly experts in the discipline they teach and in which they generally focus their scientific research, ensuring the periodic renewal of knowledge and competences. The number of research projects and scientific studies in which they are engaged and collaborate ensure the consistency of educated materials and a good coordination between the different disciplines.

Polytechnical Faculty

A significant portion of credits (ECTS) allocated to courses in the Polytechnical Faculty is dedicated to the theoretical foundations in each discipline, to the study of the operation and the characteristics of equipment (electronic components and circuits) and systems put to work in practice (transmitter/receiver, radar, sonar, GPS station, optronic or physiological sensors in stand-alone mode or integrated in a network), either in hardware or in software.

In terms of applications, the emphasis is placed on those of interest to Defence or which derive from security field (information security, cryptography, command and control systems, night vision, thermographic analysis, pattern recognition, object identification).

The tutorials, laboratory sessions and projects, individual or in small groups, allow students to more easily assimilate the theoretical concepts covered in the theoretical sessions and to confront them with the reality of technology. The tasks imposed on them range from well-defined closed problems in the early years of bachelor to more open and multidisciplinary problems in the master years, leaving more room for creativity.

Most of the master courses of the department CISS are grouped in 3 coherent modules: Global Monitoring for Security, Communication Systems and Information Systems. The following paragraphs gives you a concise overview of the contents of these modules.

Module A7, Global Monitoring for Security

Module Coordinator: Prof Dr ir Xavier Neyt

This module provides the student with a basic understanding of the methods and tools that can be used to perform an assessment of the environment (in its wide sense, i.e. what is around, local as well as global), in a global security context (Petersberg tasks) or for tactical and strategic purposes.

The module discusses:

- how the sensor of an (electro-)optical systems is built, including its electronics, together with their limitation;

- concepts about platforms, mainly space-borne, used in a remote-sensing context, together with the possibilities and limitations linked to orbital mechanics;

- filtering concepts needed in radar, sonar, navigation and remote sensing applications. The concept of (permanent) filters is extended to adaptive filters which dynamically adapt to the filtered signals;

- the methods to obtain information from complex ranging systems such as radar, LiDAR and sonar;

- the processing performed to compensate for the sensor characteristics in order to obtain usable images. Besides optical and range-imaging, position acquisition is also considered

Module A8, Communication Systems

Module Coordinator: LtCol Dr ir Bart Scheers

This module provides the student insight in the theory and practice behind modern communications systems. It enables the students to understand the principle of functioning and to have knowledge about the advantages and limitations of different communication systems and existing technologies. At term they should be capable of writing relevant technical specifications and evaluating different communication systems, as good technical adviser of the material resources decision maker.

A first part of the module gives the theoretical basis to characterise mathematically the functioning and performance features of components, circuits and subsystems entering in the composition of communication systems, like analog and digital electronics, power amplifiers, filters, oscillators. This part deals also with the propagation aspects of wired and wireless communications. A set of lab sessions and an electronic design project give the students the opportunity to become familiar with the theoretical concepts and to face the practical constraints of a circuit realisation.

A second part of the module will concentrate on modern telecommunication techniques in the domain of source coding, channel coding and digital modulation and will make a detailed study of the most important subsystems like the wired and wireless channel, the transmission line and antenna subsystem and so on.

In a last part of the module, the focus is put on the architecture of telecommunication systems at a block diagram level and the technology used within those systems, with an accent on radio transmitters/receivers, satellite communications and wireless communication networks.

Module A9, Information systems

Module Coordinator: Prof Dr ir Wim Mees

This module provides the students with a clear understanding of data networks, distributed information systems and the ways in which the security of the information, managed by these systems, can be preserved.

First the concepts and technologies are presented that are used for building local and wide area networks, as well as for setting up mobile ad hoc networks. The course touches on topics like switching, routing, wireless networks, connection-oriented networks and telephone networks, as well as on the performance analysis of these networks.

Subsequently the protocols and overlay topologies are discussed that are implemented on top of data networks for building distributed information systems. As an application, military command & control systems are studied as well as the way in which information is exchanged between the C2 systems in a multi-national environment. The synchronisation between nodes in a distributed information system is discussed in a course on operating systems, that is also part of the module. Some other topics that are presented are high-availability, high-performance and cloud computing.

Finally, the security aspect of distributed information systems is studied, with an important focus on cryptography. The students first discover the techniques for attacking local and wide area networks and computer systems. Understanding the threats information systems face, the student are then ready to learn how to protect networks and systems against attacks.

Faculty of Social and Military Sciences

The courses taught to the Faculty of Social and Military Sciences cover roughly the same areas of interest that faculty POL, but are addressed in a less mathematical, placing more emphasis on the description and understanding of phenomena and processes.

Knowing the possibilities, advantages and limitations of a transmission medium, an observation system or some type of computer network is indeed very useful for future SSMW officers who, in unity, will inevitably be facing a more technical and sophisticated environment.

A significant portion of the course in that faculty are therefore addressed to students who choose the chain weapon systems and also to those which mark a personal interest in a particular subject offered as an option.