Map the Gap Exploitation

Background and requirement

Map the Gap (MtG) is a Capability Concept Demonstrator under Land Concepts, designed to improve the ability of Royal Engineer recce elements to conduct gap surveys by using robotic autonomous systems. In the first instance this focused on technically de-risking the types of sensors and the level of autonomy achievable to conduct the task, resulting in the demonstration of several platforms-and-sensor systems. There was then need to refine a useful, military capability based on the information gained from the technical demonstrators, and exploit this to create viable RAS + Recce teaming concepts.

The aim of the exploitation task was to understand the benefits and limitations of different MtG system configurations on Blue’s ability to recce various gap types, against Red’s ability to detect, observe (and possibly contest) the recce activity. Outline requirements for concepts were then developed to be tested at a tabletop exercise, and a baseline for comparison was established through a separate workshop. Finally, the most viable concepts that came out of the tabletop exercise and their pros and cons were written up in a final report.


1. Research and establish representative geological gaps to be used in workshops and tabletop exercises.

Close Support Bridge
General Support Bridge
Wide Wet Gap

2. Generate 6-8 draft concepts for testing

3. Conduct a workshop to establish the baseline CONOPS of a RE gap recce.
4. Conducting a workshop to define the system configurations for concept recce systems.

These configurations were partially based on or variations of extant concept demonstrators.
3-6 configurations were required
These concepts were established to be across multiple domains

5. Following the workshop, conduct a series of tabletop exercises, where a gap recce task is stepped-through using the different system configurations.


Level of Blue exposure to recce
Level of Red awareness of recce
Level of Red understanding of Blue’s CoA
Time taken to carry out recce
Size of area surveyed

6. This needs to be done using a variety of gap crossing types:  a wide wet gap crossing, close support bridging gap crossing and a general support bridging gap crossing. The baseline (current) method would also need to be walked through to provide a baseline.


The tabletop exercises demonstrated that a combination of river-surface vehicle teaming with a rotary-wing air vehicle (both uncrewed). This was the most beneficial addition to the RE’s recce team, as it was able to gather data on 5/6 of the key metrics desired by the recce team, whilst providing both speed, area coverage, and low profile during the recce. An extra and unexpected finding from the tabletop exercise was the uncrewed ground vehicles proved too slow, too massive, and too high profile to be viable for the mission set.

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