Airborne surveillance and reconnaissance are essential for many military missions. Such capabilities are critical for troop
protection, situational awareness, mission planning and others, such as post-operation analysis / damage assessment.
Motion imagery gathered from both manned and unmanned platforms provides surveillance and reconnaissance
information that can be used for pre- and post-operation analysis, but these sensors can gather large amounts of video
data. It is extremely labour-intensive for operators to analyse hours of collected data without the aid of automated tools.
At MDA Systems Ltd. (MDA), we have previously developed a suite of automated video exploitation tools that can
process airborne video, including mosaicking, change detection and 3D reconstruction, within a GIS framework. The
mosaicking tool produces a geo-referenced 2D map from the sequence of video frames. The change detection tool
identifies differences between two repeat-pass videos taken of the same terrain. The 3D reconstruction tool creates
calibrated geo-referenced photo-realistic 3D models.
The key objectives of the on-going project are to improve the robustness, accuracy and speed of these tools, and make
them more user-friendly to operational users. Robustness and accuracy are essential to provide actionable intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance information. Speed is important to reduce operator time on data analysis. We are
porting some processor-intensive algorithms to run on a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in order to improve
throughput. Many aspects of video processing are highly parallel and well-suited for optimization on GPUs, which are
now commonly available on computers.
Moreover, we are extending the tools to handle video data from various airborne platforms and developing the interface
to the Coalition Shared Database (CSD). The CSD server enables the dissemination and storage of data from different
sensors among NATO countries. The CSD interface allows operational users to search and retrieve relevant video data