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SPECIAL REPORT

High Performance Camera Solutions for Military Applications Designing Full HD Cameras into Rugged Electro-Optical Systems Cameras in Process of Digital Revolution Surveying and Targeting the Potential Threat High Performance Cameras on Operation Imaging the Future

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Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT

High Performance Camera Solutions for Military Applications Designing Full HD Cameras into Rugged Electro-Optical Systems

SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Contents

Cameras in Process of Digital Revolution Surveying and Targeting the Potential Threat High Performance Cameras on Operation

Foreword

Imaging the Future

2

Mary Dub, Editor

Designing Full HD Cameras into Rugged Electro-Optical Systems

3

Adimec Advanced Image Systems B.V. Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub

Extending the Use of the Daylight Camera Cost is a Factor as Defense Budgets Have Been Reduced Highly Specialized Special Features COTS – The Importance of a Specialized Supplier Choose Your COTS Camera Supplier with Care

Cameras in Process of Digital Revolution 6 Mary Dub, Editor

Relative Power Consumption and Other Qualities of CCDs Versus CMOS The Demands of Military ‘Situational Awareness’ ‘The Fog’ of War

Surveying and Targeting the Potential Threat Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

The United States Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

Networking Gateway Technology

Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

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Image Sensors as a Key Enabling Technology

High Performance Cameras on Operation

10

Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

Sagem’s Advanced Panoramic Sight

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

Copenhagen Senor Technology (CST)

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Imaging the Future

© 2014. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

References 14

Thales’ SHARK The Important of 360-Degree Situational Awareness

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Mary Dub, Editor

Listing the Certainties and the Known Trends DARPA Developments in the Pipeline Joint Strike Fighter Sensor Fusion System

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SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Foreword T

HIS SPECIAL Report on high performance

of image data and other intelligence sources into real

cameras captures an image of an industry in

time full motion video is fundamental to 21st century

the process of vigorous change. Digital cameras

modern capabilities. The new question is ‘how well is

are now ubiquitous to meet defense and security

this done?” and “in what level of detail?”

needs. This represents a strong market for a wide

The response of the large defense contractors to

spectrum of specialist and niche uses for a range

this paradigm shift in capability has been a number

of imaging products.

of sophisticated and complex weapon systems or

The opening article in the Report looks at the

counter measures devices that operate to sense an

importance of the daylight camera in changing

incoming threat and react with split second speed to

asymmetric warfare. New technologies have made

neutralize or eliminate it.

it possible to use daylight cameras also, in low light

The final piece reflects on the short-term future - to

conditions. However, upgrades for higher resolution

look further ahead in the face of a disruptive revolution

and more sensitive daylight full motion video must

seems foolhardy. For the industry, there is the on-going

be balanced against cost considerations as defense

market uncertainty about defense equipment budgets

budgets are reduced. While commercially available or

related to economic growth. There is uncertainty,

consumer products might appear to be a less costly

too, about Western political sentiment concerning

alternative, the special requirements of the defense

intervention in the Middle East. However, writing in

industry cannot be met by these options. As a result,

the autumn of 2014, that view may be in the process

COTS products are not necessarily the solution for

of reassessment. Looking at the future from the

the defense industry. In choosing COTS products, it

perspective of a technologist, there is some certainty.

is important to use a supplier who understands the

Unmanned aerial vehicles of all sizes are increasingly

specific concerns of the global security market and

being used for surveillance and their use of image

can guarantee long term supply.

sensors across the electromagnetic spectrum is

The second article looks at the digital devices

part of this development. Manned aircraft are using

inside the camera. It is here that the enormous

better cameras too. This has resulted in a quantum

changes that have been taking place in the field of

leap in the way that 21st century warfare can now

photonics, optronics and electrical engineering are

be conducted.

showing results. The next piece looks at how the camera has become ‘an image sensor’ and is thus integrated into a network of other data streams facilitating critical situational awareness for the war fighter. Indeed, the integration

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Designing Full HD Cameras into Rugged Electro-Optical Systems Adimec Advanced Image Systems B.V.

T

HE LARGE increase in military and global security 24/7 full motion video systems has been fueled by the need to persistently observe wide areas, navigate windowless and unmanned vehicles, increase distance from potential threats, and improve accurate detection, recognition and identification (DRI) on airborne, naval and ground-based platforms. Sophisticated electro-optical systems are essential for the safety of personnel as well as the effectiveness of engagements and overall military strategy on land, sea and air.

Extending the Use of the Daylight Camera There are efforts in both the military and other global security areas to increase the resolution of imaging systems from VGA to HD and to go digital, in order to meet the video intelligence goals and current-day networking needs. Higher resolution cameras offer a wider field of view, longer detection ranges and faster identification capabilities, among other benefits. In order to obtain full motion video throughout the day and night, daylight cameras are combined on a system level with cameras optimized for other portions of the light spectrum such as Long Wave Infrared LWIR (thermal), NIR, low light, and SWIR cameras. The technologies for thermal, SWIR and image intensified cameras are not available in full HD yet (resolution of 1920 x 1080) and are not able to distinguish colors. This has increased the importance of the daylight camera in changing asymmetric warfare. The latest full HD image sensors have the sensitivity required to deliver low noise images in difficult light situations. These allow high sensitivity and high resolution (HD and greater) at up to 60 frames per second while also meeting the reduced size, weight, and power (SWAP) requirements. They

include optimized functionality to adjust for changing lighting conditions and atmospheric conditions. Functions such as advanced color processing, turbulence correction, and sharpness and contrast enhancement significantly improve the usable information within the image. Previously the daylight or video camera was only useful in daylight situations but with new technologies now available, it is possible to use the daylight cameras also in low light situations. The ability to identify in low light conditions (dusk, dawn, fog, etc.) is greatly facilitated by having color available from the daylight camera. The camera can be combined with electronic zoom and zoom optics for even better identification performance.

Cost is a Factor as Defense Budgets Have Been Reduced These upgrades for higher resolution and more sensitive daylight full motion video must be balanced with cost considerations as budgets have been reduced. Not only that, but the ability for suppliers to meet the higher image quality requirements AND support the logistics needs of the military must be considered. Commercially available or consumer products seem an attractive inexpensive option, but the special requirements from the defense industry for both sustainable products and the supply chain cannot be met by consumer or security cameras, machine vision cameras or even basic COTS cameras.

Highly Specialized Special Features Besides not being rugged, one of the major constraints with consumer and security cameras is that the lens options are limited. The sharpness in the image is a combination of the number of pixels over the target and WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Functions such as

due to environmental stresses, the targeting system loses its accuracy. Bore sight retention should be an integral part of the design and production for electro-optical cameras intended for advanced targeting systems.

advanced color processing, turbulence

COTS – The Importance of a Specialized Supplier

correction, and RUGGED CAMERAS WITH HIGH IMAGE QUALITY UNDER

sharpness and contrast enhancement significantly improve the usable information within the image

EXTREME OUTDOOR CONDITIONS

the optics. Without a well-matched lens (measured in Modulation Transfer Function or MTF), lose the ability for identification from the images is lost. Because defense and global security applications involve outdoor imaging and humans viewing the images in real time, machine vision cameras are not ideal. Machine vision cameras are optimized for the pixel information to be used for measurement inside an instrument. All pixels must have the same behavior for accurate measurements, so the most important camera parameters are linearity and uniformity. These must be combined with high full well capacity and fast frame rates for optimal performance. No image processing capabilities are included to deal with changing lighting conditions or extreme environmental changes. Another key aspect is bore sight retention of the cameralens combination over temperature, shock and vibration. When the bore sighting is lost

Commercial Off-the-Shelf (or Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf), or COTS solutions, are generating a lot of buzz for defense imaging systems. Many defense contractors would prefer to use COTS products to have a shorter time to market and, use of the latest technologies at presumably lower costs. The problem is that these products must also meet detailed specifications and exacting standards, be qualified for extended performance, and have a long life cycle – none of which are typical in the commercial marketplace. A critical factor against using COTS products is obsolescence control. For example, the commercial supplier could change, or even worse, discontinue the COTS product without prior notice because of developments in their original industry. The long-term supply chain, maintenance and availability are just as important to global security customers as the products themselves. The easiest way to avoid supply chain concerns is to work with a specialized COTS supplier who understands the specific concerns of the global security market and can guarantee long-term supply. This means not just maintaining form, fit, and function for a period, but freezing the product configuration and specification for production as long as required. It is of course challenging to estimate how long the product will be required and electronic components frequently go obsolete. A supplier can manage this through selection of components in the design process which are known to be available for long periods, could be replaced by others when obsolete and, when required, can facilitate large last time buys/safety stock management. Rugged full motion HD daylight video cameras are available from specialized COTS providers. There are true rugged (compliant to MIL-STD810G) options that can provide 24/7 operation on electro-optical sensor platforms and can also be considered commercial.

Choose Your COTS Camera Supplier with Care

TMX7-DHD LENSMOUNT HELMET

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COTS products are a good solution for lower costs and there are many daylight cameras available that will meet the imaging requirements. However the vendor must be


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

TMX-DHD SERIES: FULL HD ELECTRO-OPTICAL SENSOR MODULE

selected carefully. When deciding whether a specialized COTS camera supplier will meet the needs of a defense program, here are some considerations: •C  an they ruggedize (with certification) existing COTS products and guarantee long-term delivery? •D  o they already have products that have been successfully used in extreme conditions, including the battlefield? •D  o they follow strict production and quality procedures? •D  o they perform an acceptance test on 100% of outgoing products? •D  o they offer extended stress testing options such as thermal cycling and vibration stress screening? • Is their supply chain and product design optimized to support long term programs?

•D  o they have configuration control and obsolescence management and mitigation plans? Specialized companies who can ruggedize existing COTS products and guarantee longterm delivery or who can supply military-grade COTS products (sometimes referred to as Military Off-the-Shelf – MOTS) may be a better option to obtain the latest technology with a lower cost of ownership and risk. With continued reductions in defense budgets, there has been less funding for high-tech development projects. Still, higher performance cameras are required for better video intelligence and identification capabilities, especially in low light conditions. Specialized COTS suppliers of rugged high-resolution daylight cameras provide the opportunity to meet these seemingly conflicting goals.

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SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Cameras in Process of Digital Revolution Mary Dub, Editor

It’s not enough to know what’s going on right now on the other side of that hill – users need to know what’s going on right now in 24 different locations

A

SNAPSHOT of the rapidity of technological change in digital cameras would, without a doubt, be a blur, because of the speed of change. Even the word ‘camera’ seems loaded with a traditional subtext in the face of image sensors, optronics1, photonics2 and the necessary sensor fusion. Digital technology has transformed with a disruptive impact the world of cameras, including high performance cameras and transformed not just the process of turning light into images, but the means of storing, channeling and processing the data to be used for purposes of high value to the military community. The days of capturing images on silver chloride are passed. Now the image is captured on Charge Couple Devices (CCD) and processed into digital data. There are other types of Active Pixel Sensors called CMOS (complement ar y met al- oxide semiconductors) or other branded acronyms. These represent the recording of light as a pixel rather than an image. Manufacturers of high performance cameras for use for specific scientific or military purposes use both types of device.

Relative Power Consumption and Other Qualities of CCDs Versus CMOS CMOS sensors traditionally consume little power. CCDs, on the other hand, use a process that is power intensive. CCDs consume as much as 100 times more power than an equivalent CMOS sensor3. CCD sensors create highquality, low-noise images. CMOS sensors are generally more susceptible to noise. The choice of device is important for specific military uses and has implications for power consumption, type of image obtained and cost. Color and demosaicing algorithms are of value as are Bayer filter patterns for recording color images. Digital zoom capabilities are available as well as other important variations of shutter speed and full frame or not usage. Fairchild Imaging, a division of BAe, uses CMOS and sCMOS devices, (where the ‘s’ stands for 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

scientific). Fairchild offers specialist high performance cameras for the security industry and military surveillance and presents the case for sCMOS devices in high performance cameras. They have extremely low noise readout to preserve signals, high efficiency of light collection and conversion, large intra-scenic dynamic range, high speed operation to capture dynamic events, low cost in high volumes, with monochrome or color availability in a range of image formats.

The Demands of Military ‘Situational Awareness’ It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of high performance digital cameras to the military. Delivering situational awareness is vital for operational intelligence and reconnaissance before and during operations of almost every variety. And as Lockheed Martin understands, situational awareness now is much more demanding. “In today’s increasingly complex environments, however, situational awareness is also changing. It’s not enough to know what’s going on right now on the other side of that hill – users need to know what’s going on right now in 24 different locations,” says Vinny Sica, VP Ground Space Solutions. “Information is being pulled from satellites, from the internet, and from human intelligence. That’s what we call multi-INT integration; this is where we are investing our time money and effort.”4 And what is of significant importance here is the networking and linking of image and other data to deliver the required ‘awareness’. Lockheed Martin leads the Missile Defense National Team for the Command & Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) system, which allows commanders to coordinate and plan a layered missile defense by linking regional, theater and national commands into a single network. By linking globally deployed sensors, weapon systems, supporting elements’ fire control, and space-based infrared satellites, C2BMC provides an integrated picture of potential or current threats across the globe, allowing decision


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

makers to collaboratively observe, decide, execute and assess a response using the full range of missile defense assets and capabilities.5

‘The Fog’ of War Despite the powerful capability of networked image sensors delivering data on a scale undreamt of in the 20th century, the reality of the ‘fog’ of war on operations remains. As a Royal United Services Institute report outlines, the reality of vision and image capture capabilities can be challenged by ‘brownout’, recirculating dust/ sand conditions at remote landing sites. If low

ambient light conditions are added to brownout, night vision goggles and image sensors don’t work.6 These challenges are reinforced by the potential limited bandwidth availability issues of the operational environment, where latency or delay makes the transmission of full motion video or large packet transmission an important limiting issue. And while it is easy to write about these issues without the need for secrecy, encryption of data and the high level of importance of cyber security for operational digital data adds a layer of complexity to an already multi layered architecture. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Surveying and Targeting the Potential Threat Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

‘I hope none of you Gentlemen is so foolish as to think that aeroplanes will be usefully employed for reconnaissance from the air. There is only one way for a Commander to get information by reconnaissance and that is by the use of Cavalry.’ Sir Douglas Haig – addressing the British Army Staff College, July 19147

The capability to sense the target environment with high fidelity across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio frequency to infrared (especially low- to midband) to the visible spectrum has exploded in recent years

W

ELL, CAVALRY are useful in some circumstances in the 21st century, but they may be less useful and available than they were in the past. But this quote is making another point entirely. We should be aware of the rigidity of our thinking, and aware that ‘the impossible’ of the past, can become the everyday reality of the present and the future. There are numerous features of the use of advanced high performance cameras that would have been unimaginable 100 years ago. First, they have become a ubiquitous feature of security policy, what in the United States is called Homeland Security Policy. High performance camera monitoring takes place in counterterrorism, border security and trade, immigration, disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.8 And this is just a list of generic areas. In the field of defense and international security the use of high performance cameras is even more widespread.

The United States Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle Early in 2014, the United States National Defense University published a report on the latest Con Ops, Operational concept for attacks-in-depth across broad areas, indirect approaches, and deception.9 The report takes a critical look at the challenge of A2/AD (anti-access/area denial). It states the challenge like this: how to maintain sensor and weapons density at distance, over time, without forward bases or aircraft carriers. Overcoming this challenge requires more than achieving cross-domain synergy, a term describing better joint force integration and

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incorporation of emerging capabilities such as cyber warfare. It requires, also, unconventional thinking about how the U.S. Military Services combine sensors, weapons, and platforms to create new disruptive capabilities.10 What I want to highlight here is the idea that image sensor intelligence on everything from location, buildings, deployments of weapons and armed forces i.e. reconnaissance and targeting are now integrated into the way of war. The article advances the case for using American technology ‘leverage’ to utilize the network of sensor data and kinetic targeting to obtain an asymmetric advantage. Its purpose is to leverage the asymmetric advantages the United States enjoys in sensor technology, networking, long-range stealth, undersea warfare, and special operations, to solve the density-at-distance, over-time problem.11 And there is a further step forward in the logic; it is the failure of many other potentially opposing states to use the sensor data that gives Western forces like the United States the edge. The concept of operations is using the development of a ‘stealth strategy’ that will not only employ the latest sensors networked to attack, but will use Stealth technologies to make the attack difficult to oppose, because it will be hard to observe by image sensors.

Image Sensors as a Key Enabling Technology It is the integration of networked sensors and weapons that create a revolutionary fighting force to enable attacks in depth. These include technologies to find, fix, and communicate precise target location as well as technologies that serve to gain access.12 Undergirding several of these


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

technologies is the availability of increasingly sophisticated unmanned vehicles capable of carrying sensors and weapons that perform a host of functions including acting as decoys, finding and striking targets, and degrading adversary situational awareness, electronically. The report explains the revolutionary nature of this technological link up, calling them: ‘Find, Fix, Communicate’. These technologies include the combination of advances in find-and-fix sensors and networking gateway technologies that allow distributed sensor data to be federated and shared with anyone connected to a network. The capability to sense the target environment with high fidelity across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio frequency to infrared (especially low- to mid-band) to the visible spectrum has exploded in recent years. These sensors are becoming smaller with reduced power demands, allowing their deployment on smaller vehicles for the first time.

Networking Gateway Technology Networking gateway technology can merge this multispectral sensor data from multiple platforms and share it beyond line of sight and regardless of the data link protocol. Taken together, these developments represent a tactical breakthrough that is not yet fully appreciated. For the first time, any sensor can be connected to any weapon to provide target-quality data regardless of the platform. This means any weapon that is in range and has capability against a target can be brought to bear with any platform provided the required connectivity is established.13 What is being described and assessed in this report is a new and disruptive capability to gain battlefield dominance by using image data that has been networked in real time and distributed so that kinetic targeting can take place in a very short space of time. The speed of a cavalry charge is competing with the speed of movement of packets of data down a fiber optic cable.

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SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

High Performance Cameras on Operation Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

There is a requirement for a single, common visualization tool or product that depicts the city or town that everyone involved in the operation has access to

I

N THE 21st century digital battlefield, cameras and night vision equipment that allowed Western forces to ‘own the dark’ are now capable of delivering situation awareness with image data from across the electromagnetic spectrum. A division of the United States Army CERDEC (Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center) NVESD(Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate) is focused on the (US) Army vision for the transformation of the current to the future force. They plan to provide equipment that NVESD worked with nongovernment companies to develop that is uncooled infrared sensors and uncooled focal plane arrays sufficient for rifle sights, crew served weapons, driving aids and missile seekers. Looking to the future, uncooled technology can lead to exciting new concepts, including infrared goggles and low cost missile seekers. Networked arrays of miniature, low-cost, lightweight, lowpower IR sensors provide new possibilities for sensors to support the Army’s vision by providing situational awareness. Larger arrays of uncooled imaging systems offer affordable integration of sensors on robotic, air and ground platforms.14 “If potential targets were unarmed they went unharmed, much like how our war fighters operate at present,” Dr. Don Reago, director of the Night Vision Electronics Sensors Directorate of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. said. “Today, the Army’s goal is to improve situational awareness for soldiers, resulting in increased survivability, decreased civilian casualties and accurate lethality when necessary.” At NVESD, Army researchers are developing sensors, like the thermal sensors from Predator, as well as image intensification. “With every advancement, we’re able to refine our work, build upon it and make it better,” Reago said. “We use every opportunity we can to make our sensors smarter, lighter and smaller.” So if that is the mission, what does this mean in reality on operations?

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Sagem’s Advanced Panoramic Sight Sagem, a European high technology group, based in France, offers similar capabilities. SAPS (Sagem’s advanced panoramic sight) offers 360° real-time continuous panoramic scan mode, with track while scan for symmetric/ asymmetric warfare, hunter-killer and day/ night combat conditions. What does this mean? This is a high performance HDTV CCD camera with 3 fields of view combined with a 3rd generation high resolution Thermal Imager for long range observation. There is a track while scan mode to detect an advanced ground or aerial threat. SAPS can be integrated on fixed stations or on armored fighting/forward observation vehicles.

Copenhagen Senor Technology (CST) The camera manufacturer CST is similarly committed to creating rugged, durable and innovative electro-optical solutions.15 One of their products the Spectrel solution, is constructed around a highly sensitive CCD camera coupled with a ruggedized zoom lens, installed in a protective housing, designed to withstand harsh conditions. Spectrel systems are ruggedized to operate within a temperature range of -40°C to +70°C without compromising performance. The camera and lens are optically aligned, so the object of interest stays in the picture even when the operator zooms in or out. Typical bore sighting deviation is ±0.2 milliradians, the equivalent to staying within a target area of ±20 cm, at a distance of 1 km. Providing a field of view (FOV) of as little as 0.28°, the camera system facilitates recognizing a person at a distance of 8 km. They also offer a camera that provides Situational Awareness for Armored Vehicles (SiTA). By mounting an array of cameras on armored personnel carriers (APCs), light armored vehicles (LAVs) tanks or other wheeled or tracked vehicles, an unobstructed 360° view over the near surroundings of the vehicle can be maintained


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

with all hatches closed, providing safety for the entire vehicle crew. Their military systems are based on low noise CCD imaging technology, designed to deliver high-performance color images, even under the harshest conditions of shock and vibration of metal or rubber tracked vehicles, and in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +70°C.

Thales’ SHARK The French DGA (Direction Générale pour l’Armement) has developed the SHARK system, which takes the concept further. SHARK (System HARd Kill) is a program led by TDA, a subsidiary of Thales Group, with the contribution of IBD Deisenroth Engineering, the original developer of this countermeasure system. How does it work? The system utilizes the distributed architecture developed by IBD, which provides full 360 degrees hemispherical coverage, with distributed, overlapping sensorcountermeasures modules located all around the vehicle. Each module covers a specific sector, detecting any threat fired toward the vehicle and engaging it by blast effect at close-in range, specifically designed to comply with the operational restrictions of an urban environment. SHARK requires about 560 microseconds to detect, analyze, and launch a countermeasure. At this time, an incoming missile or RPG will travel some 15 meters – the minimum safety zone which should be protected by the system.16

The Important of 360-Degree Situational Awareness US Marine Colonel (retd) James Howcroft writes thoughtfully about the importance of 360-degree situational intelligence from high quality image data in urban operations in Iraq in a recent article for The Small Wars Journal. And given the debate about intervention in Iraq his contribution is highly relevant. After items 1 and 2 on his list of intelligence ‘must-haves’ before operations, he lists point 3 ‘Impose a Single, Common Tool to Visualize the Urban Area’. He expands the point: there is a requirement for a single, common visualization tool or product that depicts the city or town that everyone involved in the operation has access to. He values UAV data, as scalable UAVs have proven extremely useful in many urban efforts, but the limitations of imagery, whether UAV or a satellite, to see between densely packed buildings or within structures are obvious. Furthermore, the overhead imagery perspective will not match the ground eye orientation of the force on the ground. The individual on the ground, being shot at, awash in a sea of grey concrete or dust will orient and navigate by items of color, i.e. the building with the red roof or the house with the blue door, while the imagery analysts or UAV operator is usually looking from a perspective above at a black and white video screen or black and white infrared or radar imagery.17 The complexity and level of detail needed to be offered by high performance cameras is challenging. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Imaging the Future Mary Dub, Editor

UAVs, the latest disruptive air surveillance platform, have and will have an increasing role to play in the use of high performance imaging sensors

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HEN AN area of technology is in the process of rapid disruptive change, it is far more difficult to predict the future, even in a 1-3 year time frame. What are the uncertainties writing in the autumn of 2014? First, the Western political attitude to land forces overseas, ‘boots on the ground’, is going through a process of reappraisal. After a period of economic austerity, which impacted heavily on defense spending, combined with a determination to withdraw from prolonged conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it looks as if it might be possible that a Western coalition will commit to operations in Iraq. This would be a game changer, because it would mean that the soldiers on the ground would be able to command the financial and technological support that they need.

Listing the Certainties and the Known Trends And the certainties: there is an acknowledged trend towards using unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance and situational awareness and in some cases combat. These unmanned systems range in size from the nano, to the miniature, to the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle and to the much larger the General Atomics Predator. There is, of course, Northrop Grumman’s stealthy X-47B. Each one of these is carrying advanced high performance cameras and imaging equipment. An example is the British Army’s nano RPAS Proxy Dynamics Black Hornet Nano, a micro helicopter. The dimensions of this RPAS, 10cm x 2.5cm, only allow for a small camera for lowresolution image capture in scenarios such as infantry local-area reconnaissance, especially in the urban environment. 18 Medium size surveillance UAVs like Boeing Insitu’s ScanEagle carry medium-quality imaging and transmission systems as the primary payload, feeding into military intelligence and operational units live feeds of a battlefield or other targeted area. A new development in this field is the fusion of data from these UAVs: recent examples of tests in this area include Boeing’s use of two

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ScanEagles as part of a group with a Procerus Technologies Unicorn. The three RPAS were able to scan a defined area and communicate data to each other with minimal input from the manned ground station.

DARPA Developments in the Pipeline DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has recently released information about its ARGUS-IS (Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System). This is a surveillance camera that uses hundreds of smartphone image sensors to record a 1.8 gigapixel image. Designed for use in an unmanned drone (probably an MQ-1 Predator), from an altitude of 20,000 ft (6,100 m), ARGUS can keep a real-time video eye on an area 4.5 miles (7.2 km) across down to a resolution of about six inches (15 cm).19 The aim, of course, is to improve situational awareness – one of DARPA’s primary missions in recent years. The ARGUS-IS program is developing a real-time, high-resolution, wide-area video surveillance system that provides real-time video across a large theater of action, identifies and tracks moving objects, and provides up to 65 individually targeted video windows for close-up observation.20 The cameras involved take ‘high performance’ to a new level: the 1.8 gigapixel digital camera consists of a matrix of CMOS optical sensors, high quality imaging optics, and a six-axis stabilized gimbal mounting system. The 1.8 gigapixel sensor is made up of a matrix of 368 Aptina MT9P031 5-megapixel smartphone CCDs. These sensors have an active area of 5.7 x 4.3 mm each, so the width of the sensor matrix is about 90 mm (3.5 in).21

Joint Strike Fighter Sensor Fusion System UAVs, the latest disruptive air surveillance platform, have and will have an increasing role to play in the use of high performance imaging sensors. However, the combat and surveillance manned aircraft, the F-35, which is and will soon


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

be operational, is a demonstration of the latest technological capabilities to fuse together the networked image data provided by sensors delivering data across the electromagnetic spectrum and using this to inform targeting. The F-35 is more than a supersonic stealth aircraft. It is a watershed in combat aircraft design, carrying so many sensor and weapons capabilities that it is erasing legacy platformdriven distinctions between fighters, bombers and surveillance airframes. Deliberate design choices and technology investment have now combined these capabilities. US Lieutenant General David A. Deptula, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance for Headquarters US Air Force, recently described how technology is “blurring traditional lines to the point where we are now able to integrate a sensorprocessor-distributor-kinetic-non-kinetic-shooterpenetrator all on one aircraft�. In fact, the one aircraft that can do that is the F-35.22 I started the first article in this report noting that the speed of change in the area of high performance cameras would be recorded by an image sensor as a blur. I think I would be wrong. High performance cameras would catch the speed of change with precision and clarity.

The F-35 is more than a supersonic stealth aircraft. It is a watershed in combat aircraft design, carrying so many sensor and weapons capabilities that it is erasing legacy platform-driven distinctions between fighters, bombers and surveillance airframes

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

References:

Optronics is defined as “electronics” with the “elect” removed and
“opt”, a shortening for “optical” substituted.

1

The science of photonics includes the generation, emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and detection/ sensing of light. It covers all technical applications of light over the whole spectrum from ultraviolet over the visible to the near-, mid- and farinfrared. Most applications, however, are in the range of the visible and near infrared light. The term photonics developed as an outgrowth of the first practical semiconductor light emitters invented in the early 1960s and optical fibers developed in the 1970s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photonics

2

3

How Stuff Works http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cameras-photography/digital/digital-camera2.htm Enhancing Situational Awareness for an Increasingly Complex World isgs-situational-awareness

http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/us/news/features/2014/situational-awareness.html

4

Enhancing Situational Awareness for an Increasingly Complex World isgs-situational-awareness

http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/us/news/features/2014/situational-awareness.html

5

https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/Clarkson_et_al_0207_RDS.pdf Oct 2007 RUSI Defence Systems

6

7

https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/Astor_Key_Component_in_the_Sensor_to_Shooter_Link.pdf Astor: Key Component in the Sensor to Shooter Link by George McFarlane

8

The Helicopter Day/Night, All-Environment Challenge by Geoff Clarkson, Dean Moore and David Thorndycraft

Issues in Homeland Security Policy for the 113th Congress William L. Painter, Coordinator Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy February 27, 2013

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National Defense University JFQ 72 | The Joint Stealth Task Force: An Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle By Harry Foster | January 01, 2014 http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Media/News/NewsArticleView/tabid/7849/Article/8320/jfq-72-the-joint-stealth-task-force-an-operational-concept-for-air-sea-battle.aspx

National Defense University JFQ 72 | The Joint Stealth Task Force: An Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle By Harry Foster | January 01, 2014 http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Media/News/NewsArticleView/tabid/7849/Article/8320/jfq-72-the-joint-stealth-task-force-an-operational-concept-for-air-sea-battle.aspx

National Defense University JFQ 72 | The Joint Stealth Task Force: An Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle By Harry Foster | January 01, 2014 http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Media/News/NewsArticleView/tabid/7849/Article/8320/jfq-72-the-joint-stealth-task-force-an-operational-concept-for-air-sea-battle.aspx

National Defense University JFQ 72 | The Joint Stealth Task Force: An Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle By Harry Foster | January 01, 2014 http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Media/News/NewsArticleView/tabid/7849/Article/8320/jfq-72-the-joint-stealth-task-force-an-operational-concept-for-air-sea-battle.aspx

National Defense University JFQ 72 | The Joint Stealth Task Force: An Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle By Harry Foster | January 01, 2014 http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Media/News/NewsArticleView/tabid/7849/Article/8320/jfq-72-the-joint-stealth-task- force-an-operational-concept-for-air-sea-battle.aspx

14

http://www.cerdec.army.mil/inside_cerdec/nvesd/history/ Establishing the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD)

15

CST, Copenhagen Sensor Technology

http://www.militarysystems-tech.com/suppliers/cst-copenhagen-sensor-technology 16

http://defense-update.com/products/a/ads-ibd.htm SHARK Active Protection System

17

Intelligence Challenges in Urban Operations by James Howcroft Journal Article | July 20, 2014 - 1:48am Intelligence Challenges in Urban Operations James Howcroft

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http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmdfence/writev/772/rpa02.htm

Remotely Piloted Air Systems Session 2013-14 Remote Control: Remotely Piloted Air Systems

Written evidence from the Royal United Services Institute RPAS Capabilities

19

DARPA’s new 1.8-gigapixel camera is a super high-resolution eye in the sky By Brian Dodson February 11, 2013

http://www.gizmag.com/argus-is-darpa-gigapixel-camers/26078/ 20

DARPA’s new 1.8-gigapixel camera is a super high-resolution eye in the sky By Brian Dodson February 11, 2013

http://www.gizmag.com/argus-is-darpa-gigapixel-camers/26078/ 21

DARPA’s new 1.8-gigapixel camera is a super high-resolution eye in the sky By Brian Dodson February 11, 2013

http://www.gizmag.com/argus-is-darpa-gigapixel-camers/26078/ 22

Stealth, Sensor Fusion, Situational Understanding and Precision Attack: Is This the Right Answer to the Balance of Force? by Wing Commander Willy Hackett and Dr Rebecca Grant

http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/HackettGrantRDSSummer2010.pdf

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SPECIAL REPORT: HIGH PERFORMANCE CAMERA SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY APPLICATIONS

Notes:

16 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


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Defence Industry Reports – High Performance Camera Solutions for Military Applications – Adimec  

Defence Industry – Special Report on High Performance Camera Solutions for Military Applications

Defence Industry Reports – High Performance Camera Solutions for Military Applications – Adimec  

Defence Industry – Special Report on High Performance Camera Solutions for Military Applications