Sarnoff Corp.'s TerraSight surveillance suite: The bird's-eye view

It's been a good couple of months for 'holy cow' new technologies. The Ph.D.s at Sarnoff Corp. in Princeton, N.J., where groundbreaking video R&D always seems to happen, recently commercialized a video surveillance suite called TerraSight. It will be sold to government through the company's Pyramid Vision subsidiary in Arlington, Va.

TerraSight should be seen to be appreciated. Fortunately the company took the wraps off it at last month's Air and Space Conference in Washington, where GCN caught up with Sarnoff business development director Mark Sartor. The TerraSight system basically combines video feeds from unmanned aerial vehicles with existing maps, imagery and other data to create panoramic situational awareness. In laymen's terms, traditional UAV surveillance can only show what the UAV sees at any moment in time. TerraSight processes the feed (or stitches together multiple feeds) and places it in a geospatial context. So you can see when a UAV picks up an enemy convoy, for example, but you can also see where the convoy is headed even if the UAV itself can't.

Sartor explained that TerraSight works on each individual pixel in a video stream, giving the pixels unique coordinates. It stabilizes imagery in real time and enhances video by processing frames immediately following and preceding each other in order to add back lost details. Sartor showed GCN the TerraSight software working on video captured from a UAV over Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Impressive.

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