Autonomous CASEVAC - annual report 2022


  • Jouni Rantakokko
  • Viktor Rask
  • Carl Brännlund
  • Gustav Tolt
  • Marianela Garcia Lozano
  • Katie Asplund Cohen
  • Lina Thors
  • Peter Andersson

Publish date: 2023-02-02

Report number: FOI-R--5390--SE

Pages: 39

Written in: Swedish


  • unmanned
  • autonomous
  • UGV
  • UAV
  • adaptive driving profile
  • vital parameters
  • respiratory rate
  • camera
  • visual
  • thermal
  • depth
  • UWB
  • ballistic armor


The strive for high quality care forms the basis of the medical system in the Swedish Armed Forces; however, in mass casualty scenarios there is also a need for a highthroughput medical care system. This will be based on disaster medicine care principles, which governs that the large number of casualties are taken care of in the best possible way considering the limited medical and evacuation resources that are available. There is a need for an increased casualty evacuation capacity in mass casualty scenarios. Unmanned logistics vehicles have the potential to meet that need in future conflicts, especially when considering casualty evacuation close to the point of injury. This annual report summarizes the work that has been conducted within the project Autonomous CASEVAC during 2022. An autonomous battlefield triage system is considered to be a valuable complement to unmanned casualty evacuation vehicles, particularly in mass casualty scenarios where the medical resources are strictly limited. The possibility to automatically estimate the respiratory rate has therefore been evaluated using visual, thermal and depth sensing cameras, as well as a UWB radar module. The sensors are complimentary in nature and they measure two different physical phenomena, i.e. the thermal signature around the nose and the small upper body movements that occur during breathing. The focus has been on using relatively low-cost, compact sensors that can be available even on small unmanned vehicles. The evaluations indicate that automatic estimation of respiratory rate is feasible, even on soldiers that are equipped with body armour. The results are promising and motivate continued research and development targeting non-contact estimation of vital parameters of casualties on the point if injury as a step towards a future autonomous triage system. This initial study needs to be validated through extensive and varied evaluations in order to quantify the different methods performance based on larger sets of test subjects and during more challenging conditions.