An Australian company has developed a powerful solution to provide drones with a better view from above.
Sentient Vision Systems has launched a miniaturized drone-sensor system known as Kestrel that optimizes autonomous object-detection especially designed for security and military use.
According to a company press release, the scalable system integrates seamlessly “with the full range of current and future UAVs, from small platforms such as the hand-launched Wasp to multi-mission remotely piloted aircraft.”
A company spokesperson explains:
“The introduction of software that can automatically detect potential objects in real-time through analysis of aerial surveillance video over land and water has enabled operators to make sense of this deluge of data, producing actionable intelligence. But truly taking this mission-critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability to the next level of performance has required embedding the detection capability into the air vehicle itself.”
A drone equipped with Kestrel can autonomously detect movement too small or slow for human eyes via electro-optical and infrared video.
“The system’s ability to discern an object that appears as a tiny blip measuring just a few pixels in the image means the sensor can be zoomed out further and therefore covers a much wider area in a given period of time.”
The company says Kestrel has been deployed on more than 1,700 systems across six continents and has provided support for the Australian Defence Force as well as American and Canadian armed forces.
Future plans include Kestrel’s deployment by the ADF with its new Wasp AE micro air vehicle capability, which is set to be delivered by AeroVironment over a three-year period.
“Before Kestrel, the forces on the ground were relying on human operators to literally watch full-motion video and detect operational threats,” said Simon Olsen, Director of Business Development, Strategy and Partnerships at Sentient.
“With Kestrel, threats and issues were suddenly more clear. The observer peering at a digital video shot from an aircraft thousands of feet in the air may not notice armed insurgents in the shadows alongside a road with a Coalition convoy approaching, but Kestrel would.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
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