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31 May 2005 Improving land vehicle situational awareness using a distributed aperture system
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U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) has performed early work to develop a Distributed Aperture System (DAS). The DAS aims at improving the situational awareness of armored fighting vehicle crews under closed-hatch conditions. The concept is based on a plurality of sensors configured to create a day and night dome of surveillance coupled with heads up displays slaved to the operator's head to give a "glass turret" feel. State-of-the-art image processing is used to produce multiple seamless hemispherical views simultaneously available to the vehicle commander, crew members and dismounting infantry. On-the-move automatic cueing of multiple moving/pop-up low silhouette threats is also done with the possibility to save/revisit/share past events. As a first step in this development program, a contract was awarded to United Defense to further develop the Eagle VisionTM system. The second-generation prototype features two camera heads, each comprising four high-resolution (2048x1536) color sensors, and each covering a field of view of 270°hx150°v. High-bandwidth digital links interface the camera heads with a field programmable gate array (FPGA) based custom processor developed by Sarnoff Corporation. The processor computes the hemispherical stitch and warp functions required for real-time, low latency, immersive viewing (360°hx120°v, 30° down) and generates up to six simultaneous extended graphics array (XGA) video outputs for independent display either on a helmet-mounted display (with associated head tracking device) or a flat panel display (and joystick). The prototype is currently in its last stage of development and will be integrated on a vehicle for user evaluation and testing. Near-term improvements include the replacement of the color camera heads with a pixel-level fused combination of uncooled long wave infrared (LWIR) and low light level intensified imagery. It is believed that the DAS will significantly increase situational awareness by providing the users with a day and night, wide area coverage, immersive visualization capability.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jean Fortin, Jason Bias, Ashley Wells, Larry Riddle, Gooitzen van der Wal, Mike Piacentino, and Robert Mandelbaum "Improving land vehicle situational awareness using a distributed aperture system", Proc. SPIE 5783, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXI, (31 May 2005);


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