New technology enhances UAV video

Military missions that rely on unmanned aerial vehicles could benefit from new technology that more efficiently packages and transmits the data, including full-motion video, that UAVs gather.

Harris Corp. has released the AcuityH264, an airborne-hardened encoder designed for military missions. It gives broadcast-quality video-encoding capabilities to transmit compressed video and related data, such as telemetry and time of acquisition, from remote locations and mobile broadcast vehicles, according to the company.

The encoder’s compression capabilities enable the transmission of high-bandwidth data gathered during intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions while its video-data combination increases imagery value and simplifies the tasks of analysts on the ground.

The product meets Motion Imagery Standards Board requirements for airborne applications, Harris said. Its H.264 compression, combined with data standards, is interoperable with current and future systems. It includes additional features, such as the ability to scale and crop video and expansion capabilities for on-board storage of ‘mezzanine-quality’ video – a higher-fidelity version of the transmitted video.

Last month GCN reported that the U.S. Joint Forces Command will be using broadcasting technology to improve battlefield decision making. The command’s ValiantAngel system collects and stores video from a variety of sensors into a networked database, categorizes and manages video, alerts users when new, defined clips are posted to the network, and combines data from multiple sources into video streams.

ValiantAngel uses components from Harris' Full-Motion Video Asset Management System and Lockheed Martin’s Audacity video-analysis system, with NetApp managing the video processing, exploitation and dissemination.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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