The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is a private, non-profit, professional educational organization dedicated to maintaining a strong national security with a special emphasis on land power and the United States Army. Held every October, the AUSA Annual Meeting is the largest land power exposition and professional development forum in North America. This event consists of presentations, panel discussions on pertinent military and national security subjects, workshops and business meetings.
Adimec visited the AUSA exhibition in Washington DC to provide individual demonstration sessions for customers, potential customers and industry partners. We showed the capabilities of our beyond HD, extended daylight, Global shutter CMOS color cameras. We would like to thank Thales Angenieux (partner in the Exist project) for providing their new rugged linear zoom 10x20 HD lens, to demonstrate the true possibilities our TMX50 5 Mpx 2/3” full color camera. Adimec shall share full motion video and more details on these cameras in the coming weeks.
Representatives from Adimec also visited the exhibition to stay informed on the general trends in the defense market and daylight / lowlight imaging technologies and requirements.
Here are a few of our observations:
Trend 1: A continues increase in vision systems and number of sensors on air and land platforms
The numbers of vision systems and military vehicles with vision systems have increased significantly in recent years. These multi-sensor electro-optical systems include thermal cameras, laser range finders/designators and high resolution color cameras. With limited budgets available for complete new vehicle platform development, there is and shall be a focus on enhancing existing vehicles. At AUSA the main topics were increasing situational awareness, intelligence gathering, lethality and safety.
Trend 2: Intra-Vehicle Networked infrastructure
For new platforms and upgrades the VICTORY standard has been chosen as the integrated vehicle network. The physical layer for this is 10 GigE. However, this does not mean that IP cameras are required / desired.
Within EO/IR sensor suites we observe low latency point-to-point interfaces remain technically desired over 10 GigE. The (observation) turret operator will receive a primary video feed based on a peer to peer interface. There will be a secondary (perhaps even compressed) video feed towards the network for viewing and recording.
Trend 3: 360 degree (LSAS) improvement (See through Armor)
360 degree viewing is already implemented on many vehicles and is continuing to mature. The majority of current day Local Situational Awareness Systems (LSAS) have a similarity with commercial driving aid cameras. The image quality and sensitivity is poor and often IR illumination is required. The cameras are positioned in huge numbers on the side of the vehicle, adding in bandwidth, and vehicle integration (holes in the hull).
One of the goals for VICTORY (US) and other standards (DEFSTAN82 UK) is to enable video data of the targeting systems, driver vision enhancement and 360 degree LSA cameras to be shared within the vehicle at any given place. For 360 degree viewing, image stitching is desired, but there is still some development required on how to do this efficiently.
Current & future implementations desired by the users are to have the capability to further integrate with other EO/IR systems (like enabling slewing of a surveillance turret based on detections within the LSAS). This means imaging performance and speed should increase, but positioning of the cameras and future scalability (without facing bandwidth limitations) would need to be (re)considered.
The current networks are not able to cope with such bandwidths that would be required with high resolution imagers at the high frame speeds required and stitching in the network. With GigE Vision provided by the camera, unwanted compression is required. With CoaXPress, which has been adapted for some major land programs, a central video processing node can enable stitching and integration with other mission critical systems (EO/IR, acoustic gunshot detection etc). Video output towards mission critical users could be point to point with a transmission to the network on demand.
CoaXPress enables single coax solution, long distanced, low latency, high signal integrity, high bandwidth (6.25 Gbps per cable), future upgradeability (CXP 2.0 12 Gbps per line).
These are just a few of our observations. If you have question regarding our technologies or our view on camera implementation, please feel free to contact us.