Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Front-Line Intelligence

For the warfighters at the front line, mobility, flexibility and ease of use are key elements in intelligence deployment

By Barry Hochfelder

Personnel can geo-locate video using VideoScout's integration with common mapping software such FalconView while remaining on the move, or with Google Earth when connected to a network. Users can view incoming video and associated maps side by side, with vehicle position, path and field of view plotted in real time. Tactical INTEL personnel can locate previously recorded videos and images by selecting a desired area on a map. VideoScout-MXR automatically finds and displays all instances of video and images available for the selected geographic area with corresponding lat/long, date/time and annotations.

The pocket-sized VideoScout-MXR has an integrated receiver to capture and leverage real-time video and data directly from L-, S- or C-band-based ISR sensors, including UAVs. The computer is made by General Dynamics, and the operating system is Windows XP Pro with an Intel 1.2 GHz Core Solo CPU (U1400 + 533 MHz FSB). It has 1 GB of memory and up to 128 MB of dynamically allocated graphics memory. Its sealed touchpad keyboard is waterproof.

It's a tool to capture video and watch it, but it's also a full-blown PC so all their other applications are on it and it becomes their one laptop. "If you can help soldiers get rid of equipment, you're a hero," Vernec says.

"They can not only watch video, but exploit it," he says. "They can encode, archive, search and retrieve later. They can pick out a 30-second clip, create an intel report and send it on. They can leverage the data so that they know where on a map it is.

"Say you have a platoon of guys with a UAV overhead. They capture and send the video, where something suspicious is seen. They can pause the video, hit a snapshot and pull a JPEG with location data. They can put a circle around something, transmit it to someone else or archive it for later. And they can continue to catch up in real time and see what the UAV is doing. The DVR has a 90-minute buffer, so they can look back 90 minutes while still watching real-time in the corner."

Video is sent to the receiver to the card (either H.264 or MPEG2) and merges the telemetry data to video and records it to the hard drive (72 or 80 gigs). "We're UAV agnostic and sensor agnostic," Vernec says. "We just need to know what the frequency isóL-band, C-band or S-band.

The MXR is a miniature version of the Video Scout MC used by the Marine Corps. It's the same application, but a larger laptop. It comes with an FPGA and algorithms that can adjust to high-contrast lighting with the touch of a button. "The shadows become less dark and the brights less bright," Vernec says. "It exposes things they wouldn't otherwise see. They just hit the Luminescence Enhancement button and the image changes with virtually no latency."

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