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Small UAV: persistent surveillance made possible

Small UAV: persistent surveillance made possible

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In typical intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, persistent surveillance is commonly defined as the exercise of automatic intelligence discovery by monitoring a wide area coverage for hours of operation at a high altitude leveraging aerial platforms (manned or unmanned). The platform can be large enough to carry a matrix of high-resolution sensors and a rack of high-performance computing equipment to process in real-time all sensors' feeds. With the current ISR growing in capability, engineering and optics-based aerial surveillance to find a suitable design solution became a design challenge. More onboard processing is desired for an increasing fidelity/resolution sensors' feed, while matching a constraining SWaP (size, weight, and power) budget requirements in a bandwidthconstrained operating theatre. The advent in small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV) technology, able to carry sophisticated optics payloads and to take aerial images from strategic viewpoints has become unavoidable in nowadays battlespace contributing in moving forward the ISR capabilities. The constrained on-board processing power in addition to the strict limit in the flying time of sUAV are amongst the serious challenges to overcome to enable cost-effective persistent surveillance based on sUAV platforms. All previous examples show that tailoring the sensors to match the platforms' environment is a challenging endeavour and therefore architects have shifted their design methodology to be based on hardware and software open architectures as a centrepiece of their approach in building cost-effective surveillance solution design. This chapter is a brief introduction to hardware and software building blocks for developing persistent surveillance systems. In our context, the focus is in particular on Electro-Optic (EO, visual spectrum) and Infrared (IR) integrated solutions leveraging computer vision techniques for surveillance missions.

Chapter Contents:

  • 13.1 Introduction
  • 13.2 System view
  • 13.2.1 System description
  • 13.2.2 Hardware components
  • 13.2.3 Components recommendation
  • 13.3 Software components
  • 13.3.1 Camera calibration
  • 13.3.2 Image stitching
  • 13.3.3 Stabilization
  • 13.3.4 Background subtraction
  • 13.3.5 Object tracking
  • 13.3.6 Geo-location pointing
  • 13.4 Future trends
  • 13.5 Conclusion
  • References

Inspec keywords: military computing; object detection; autonomous aerial vehicles; robot vision; parallel processing; video surveillance; image sensors

Other keywords: aerial images; small UAV; high-performance computing equipment; intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions; constraining SWaP budget requirement; ISR missions; computer vision; electrooptic solution; cost-effective persistent surveillance; cost-effective surveillance solution design; bandwidth-constrained operating theatre; constrained on-board processing power; sUAV platforms; design methodology; optics-based aerial surveillance; persistent surveillance systems; sophisticated optics payloads; unmanned aerial vehicle; high-resolution sensors; automatic intelligence discovery; ISR capabilities; high altitude leveraging aerial platforms; wide area coverage

Subjects: Military engineering computing; Image recognition; Video signal processing; Parallel software; Aerospace control; Computer vision and image processing techniques; Mobile robots

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