Novel Airborne Video Sensors
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
Soldiers have been called upon to function in progressively more complex and hostile environments resulting, in many cases, in unnecessary loss of lives. While dismounted urban operations have incorporated many new technologies, the need to collect, collate, and convey information effectively in these applications exceeds the state of the art in information technology. The problem is getting that timely information about the enemy's intent to the troops on the ground. The high altitude surveillance platforms have such narrow fields of view (FOV) that locating a human sized target is extremely hard (without cueing) and since they are trying to look into "urban canyons" often can not even image the area of interest if they could find it. The "bad guys" can avoid the large airborne platforms because there are few of them and their flight path is predictable. Similar needs exist for emergency response personnel. The airborne asset that is "organic" to the troops can get into position to image the target. The concept of small vehicles using modern digital camera technology will be capable of detecting, recognizing/classifying, modeling, locating or tracking the targets of interest, under a range of environmental conditions.
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