Page 1

Special Report

Stabilised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs

The Challenges of SWaP-Efficient Airborne Imaging Top Quality Imaging Surges in 21st Century Warfare Small Tactical UAS in Action with the US Navy and Marines Corps Next Generation Stabilised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs

Sponsored by

New Features for UAS Payloads and the Future

Published by Global Business Media


HoodTech stabilized imaging systems... where experience takes flight. more than 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging from Moving Platforms

There is no substitute for experience, and ours speaks for itself. With over 4,000 payloads delivered, more than 600,000 combat flight hours, and dozens of customized designs in action, HoodTech soars with the best-in-class EO/IR sensors and field-proven stabilized imaging payloads. Our expertise in sensor integration, vibration isolation, disturbance rejection, and dedicated video processing have made us the preferred supplier in thousands of missions. For small platforms, where minimum SWaP is a requirement, HoodTech payloads offer the most ISR per unit mass, per unit volume, and per unit power. For more features and benefits call or visit www.hoodtech.com. Hood Technology. Taking ISR payload performance to new heights.

Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ Unmatched image stability ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through thousands of launches/retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services

STABILIZED IMAGING SYSTEMS 3100 Cascade Ave. / Hood River, OR 97031 info@hoodtech.com / www.hoodtech.com


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

SPECIAL REPORT

Stabalised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs

Contents Foreword

2

Mary Dubb, Editor The Challenges of SWaP-Efficient Airborne Imaging Top Quality Imaging Surges in 21st Century Warfare Small Tactical UAS in Action with the US Navy and Marines Corps Next Generation Stabilised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs New Features for UAS Payloads and the Future

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 Dubb Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

The Challenges of SWaP-Efficient Airborne Imaging 3 Chris Johnston, VP Sales & Marketing – Infrared Projects HoodTech Corp, Vision Inc.

The Advent of Small UAVs Stability, Disturbance Rejection, and Pointing Sensors: Thermal Imagers Sensors: EO Laser Channels On-Board Vision and Payload Processors

Top Quality Imaging Surges in 21st Century Warfare 8 Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Why Does the Military Want UAS? How Have Political Leaders Been Instructing the Military to use UAS? The Impact of the Use of Drones on COIN Drones to be Used in Security Role to Aid Diplomacy Criticism by the UN of the Use of New Technology for Surveillance and Intelligence Handling the Data Flow

Small Tactical UAS in Action with the US Navy and Marines Corps STUAS in Action Over Libya The ScanEagle Spreads its Wings Cost Control through Fee for Service Teal Group Market Study 2011 UAVs in a Back Pack – the RQ-14 Dragon Eye The US Army Favours the RQ-11 Raven

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.

Next Generation Stabilised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs

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.

Engineering Developments Specification and Cost Supply Chain and Management Developments A More Standardised Future

© 2012. 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.

10

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

12

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

New Features for UAS Payloads and the Future

14

Mary Dub, Editor

Cost Effectiveness Driver for UAS Payloads The Technology Challenge for High Technology Sensor Providers High Ruggedness Criteria for Resilience on Operations What Might the Future Look Like?

References 16

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

Foreword T

he leading edge of the innovative world of

payloads are the topic of the third piece in

highly engineered sensor payloads for UAS

this report. The stabilised imaging and video

imaging systems is the subject of this Special

processing systems that many of the UAS carry

Report. The surge in demand and spending in the

are valued by all the armed forces in the United

United States and elsewhere for the latest UAS

States. And to their credit, the stabilised imaging

systems with the latest imaging system payloads

sensors proved themselves well in action during

is strong, despite cutbacks in defence spending in

last year’s Libyan ‘Odyssey Dawn’ responsibility

North America and Western Europe.

to protect campaign.

This Special Report opens with an article that

Initiating innovation in next generation stabilised

examines the developments in airborne imaging

imaging and video processing systems for small

systems from the complex, heavy duty, rather

tactical UAVs is the theme of the fourth article. In the

massive payloads, designed for manned aircraft,

highly competitive world of technology innovation,

to small imaging systems that can be carried by

many companies are working hard to better the

unmanned robotic or piloted aircraft. However, the

challenging criteria presented by the military.

benefits of these small UAVs are offset by limited

Peering into the future of an uncertain world is

payload capability and, over the last 8 years,

always problematic. But the consequences of the

engineers have continuously developed more

rise of China and the growth of Asian economies

powerful, stabilised sensors for these popular

are casting a shadow over how the United States is

airframes. With the demand for better visual

preparing to place its forces globally. This in turn is

acuity, working within constrained power budgets,

impacting on how and where UAS, now a primary

designers have strived towards more pixels per unit

tool of the armed forces, will be used. Enterprising

area on the ground and better stability.

technologists are also improving their capabilities

The second article in this report looks at the levels

to play to these new demands. But smaller, lighter

of interest and spending on these new systems.

and less power-hungry payloads appear to be a

Indeed, the way the detailed real time images of

strong trend in future imaging systems.

people and events are being used is changing the way both insurgents and ISAF forces are operating. STUAS (Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and their stabilised imaging and video processing

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.

2 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

The Challenges of SWaPEfficient Airborne Imaging

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Systems

Chris Johnston, VP Sales & Marketing – Infrared Projects HoodTech Corp, Vision Inc. www.hoodtech.cominfo@hoodtech.com

F

or years, airborne imaging systems have been designed as complex, heavyduty, rather massive payloads carrying multiple sensors and generating very highquality image data. Traditional airborne imaging systems have been designed for manned aircraft – either fixed or rotary-winged. These aircraft are designed for human-scale payloads and larger. In aviation, the concept of small, lightweight, computerized robotic aircraft is a new concept. The wide-spread application of small aircraft to lift reasonably powerful imaging platforms to perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) has been present for only a few years. The advantage of small aircraft for ISR missions has been proven in recent conflicts. Small UAVs are maneuverable, runway independent, operable in hostile or dangerous environments, and compared to most military aircraft that operate in hostile or dangerous environments – inexpensive, both in terms of risk and hourly cost. Probably the most common benefit cited for unmanned robotic or piloted aircraft is endurance. While the need for imaging from a small robotic aircraft has been present from the beginning, most small imaging systems deliver only a fraction of the performance found in imaging systems designed for manned systems. Some of the attributes found in these manned systems are complex EO and IR imaging cameras with extensive optical and digital zoom capabilities, multiple laser technologies for targeting, range measurement, and designation. Various other detection/imaging methods include low-light TV (LLTV), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), flash LIDAR, hyperspectral imaging (HIS), and more. All of these technologies have been deployed on larger manned and unmanned aircraft. Typical payload weights in this class range from 30-120 kg and higher. The benefits of small UAVs however, are offset by limited payload capability. There are highly capable unmanned airborne systems

(UAS) available with a gross take-off weight of nominally 20 kg. These airplanes with a reasonable payload are quiet and stealthy, runway independent, have mission durations of 18 hours or longer, and are easily maintained by small crews. But with a 20 kg take-off weight, not much mass budget is available for highly capable ISR payloads. Thus, payload engineers are now designing systems that deliver as much ISR capability as possible within limited mass budgets, as well as limited volume and power budgets. There will always be trade-offs between payload performance and aircraft mission profile. The smallest UAVs will always have limited payload capability and will never be expected to fly very narrow FOV imagers or payloads with stabilization measured in microradians – this is not part of the very small, or micro UAV mission profile. But the so-called Tier II, or small tactical UAVs are now expected to deliver very high quality ISR data within payload budgets measuring under 10 kg that match or exceed the ground coverage delivered by the >30 kg payloads flying on large UAVs or manned aircraft. Currently, there is a convergence of payload design attributes and sensor and system attributes that will bring extensive ISR capability within the range of the small UAV. Payload engineers are currently pushing technical frontiers in small powerful imagers, small lasers, very small video processor systems, and mass-efficient stabilization systems. There will be a convergence in the future of powerful ISR payloads that meet or exceed the capabilities found in the 50 kg units, but mass suitable for a small UAV with a maximum take-off weight of <65 kg.

The Advent of Small UAVs Small, long-endurance UAVs are a relatively new technology. In recent conflicts, small tactical UAVs have proven their value at delivering very high quality ISR data with unique fidelity. The small UAV has a very nimble mission profile that allows aircraft to be directed to the mission

> 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

SWaP-Efficient, 4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through 1000’s of launches and retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services ¡ Unmatched image stability

info@hoodtech.com www.hoodtech.com

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

As more and more systems were flown, the need for better quality ISR became instantly evident. Over the past 8 years, small UAS payload engineers have continuously developed more powerful stabilized sensors for these popular airframes.

station easily and quickly. Their size, agility and cost-effectiveness allow for multiple systems to be deployed and controlled by small crews deployed in small footprints. They are generally quiet and stealthy at their designated operating altitudes. With mission endurance lasting greater than 12 hours in most cases, the ability to loiter or perform programmed waypoint-based surveillance extends the ISR value. Small UAS, because they are relatively stealthy, can fly under the cloud ceiling undetected when larger aircraft would be precluded. When comparing deployment costs against larger, runway-based aircraft, small tactical UAS tend to deliver very high ISR value, measured in cost-per-video hour. The earliest UAS deployed in theater flew with relatively simple imaging systems. The earliest missions delivered only the simplest overhead surveillance when compared to today’s capabilities. But these early, relatively lower-performance systems still managed to change the situational awareness paradigm for commanders on the ground. As more and more systems were flown, the need for better quality ISR became instantly evident. Over the past 8 years, small UAS payload engineers have continuously developed more powerful stabilized sensors for these popular airframes. Today, anecdotes

circulate about the quality of the ISR data due to the relatively short slant ranges, or the uniqueness of the data because all other platforms were shutout as a result of of poor weather conditions. As the value of small UAS gains greater recognition, that value will only be extended as payload capabilities climb to the level of that offered by the typical larger payload. Additionally, when users see full motion video (FMV) delivered from the ground from a King Air flying a 100 kg imaging payload, mission commanders viewing the FMV come to expect the next display screen over have similar attributes, despite the fact that it is delivered from a 15 kg aircraft. It will be imperative that future UAS engineers and payload engineers invent technologies that deliver the best, most reasonable capability possible and strive to reduce the capability gap between the manned and small UAS payloads.

Stability, Disturbance Rejection, and Pointing The smallest UAVs, or micro UAVs are generally hand-launched, battery-powered aircraft with mission durations of 30-90 minutes. A handlaunched vehicle can afford an imaging payload measured in the hundreds of grams. Mission altitudes, or above ground level (AGL) are in

Fig. 1– DIAGRAM – Glossary of terms for UAV imaging: AGL – Above Ground Level; HFOV – Horizontal Field-of-View, the longer dimension of an imager’s field of view; Slant Range: Distance to target, product of AGL and the sine of the angle from nadir; GSD: Ground Sample Distance. IFOV: Instantaneous Field-of-View, the angle subtended by one pixel, usually in microradians.

4 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Systems

> 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

Fig. 2 – New Alticam11EOIR gyro-stabilized imaging system for small, tactical (Tier II) UAVs, manufactured by Hood Technology (Hood River, OR), is operable in the visible and the MWIR spectral ranges. Advanced features include narrow FOV, multiple imaging and tracking modes, and laser pointer and rangefinder.

the small hundreds of meters. Typically, hardmounted, wide FOV imagers, both EO and IR, deliver quality situational awareness to team-level users. The need for narrow FOV and precision pointing and tracking are not expected. One level up in the Tier II range, the requirements for covert, human-scale imagery are tantamount. The AGL, or distance to target for covert operations varies between platforms, but is nominally 1200 meters or greater. It is a simple calculation to transfer this distance to a focal length for an imaging system, and to an achievable or desired instantaneous field-ofview (IFOV), and the number of pixels required to start to infer intent of a human scale target on the ground. Next, with a given imaging system designed to meet the IFOV requirement to assess intent, the pixel needs to stay on the target and reject blur caused by system disturbances. This is a function of stability and available exposure time (see Figure 1). At 1200 meters, a nominal IFOV of 50 microradians allows for a pixel on the ground of about 6-7 cm. This is ample pixel coverage to interpret human scale activity. But this human scale activity occurs on the time frame of many seconds, or minutes, while a single image in a scene is nominally 30 ms. For interpretation, several seconds of FMV needs to be delivered to users, and the mechanical stability of a camera operating at 30 frames per second (fps) drives

the quality of the video. When considering the platform disturbances upon a 6 cm pixel on the ground, the stability requirements are challenging. High frequency vibrations and disturbances are simply a fact of life when imaging from a small UAV. Motor vibration and high frequency turbulence are primary contributors to disturbance frequencies between 1 and 40 Hz. Lower frequency disturbances are primarily driven by gross aircraft attitude changes and maneuvers. All these disturbances need to be managed at the pixel. Small payloads are usually 2-axis or 4-axis gyro-stabilized systems. Both systems measure an offset as a gyro voltage and compensate for the disturbance. In the 2-axis case, the gyro signal drives an offsetting motor action to reject the disturbance. A 2-axis system can work well with wide field of view and high IFOV values. A typical value of stability is measured in hundreds of microradians when using MEMS gyros and direct motor control for disturbance rejection. Higher frequency fiber optic gyros are available for higher frequency loops when narrower FOVs are required, but still have limited capacity when driving practical motors. For very narrow fields of view found in most airborne imaging systems, 4- or 5-axis systems are designed. In SWaP-efficient systems, the inner two stages of a 4-axis system are mass balanced, inertial stages designed for high-frequency

SWaP-Efficient, 4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through 1000’s of launches and retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services ¡ Unmatched image stability

info@hoodtech.com www.hoodtech.com

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

Future payloads will need even greater capability. As wide-areasurveillance systems are deployed, target intelligence will need to be employed to deliver only relevant information to customers.

disturbance rejection. Energized magnetic springs, called limited angle torquers (LATs) actuate and encode inner stage motion imparted by high-frequency platform disturbances. A second outer stage provides gross motion and follows encoded rates determined by the LATs. In 5-axis systems, an inertial rotation stage is included. These are limited to much larger systems. The small, 4-axis systems produced by HoodTech (www.hoodtech.com – Hood River, OR) are delivering stability values better than 20 microradians measured on 5 ms exposure times (see Figure 2).

Sensors: Thermal Imagers In general, the overall size and mass of an ISR payload is dominated by the size of the midwave infrared (MWIR) imaging system. Designers can achieve the necessary IFOV values only with advanced, cooled MWIR sensors. The starting point for payload design addresses pixel size, and integration time. Pixel size will drive numerous aspects of the MWIR imaging system in terms of available integration-time-per-unit sensitivity. Small pixels, or small optical apertures will render undesirable integration times and a greater stability requirement because the pixel needs to be fixed on object and not blur due to platform motion. The weight, size, and power of the overall integrated Dewar cooler assembly (IDCA) and supporting electronics also need to be considered. Thankfully, numerous suppliers are able to supply capable sensors and electronics within acceptable volume, mass, and power budgets. It is a fact that small UAVs operating at an AGL of nominally 1000 meters can offer very little ISR value with an uncooled LWIR imager. Given a payload mass budget of 5 kg, providing a nominal thermal imager mass budget of 2 kg, a reasonable focal length that can be considered would be approximately 250 mm or higher. Customers will always drive for better ground sample distance (GSD) which, for a given

AGL, means more focal length. More focal length will translate into physically longer and more massive optics. The current state-ofthe-art in payload development rests with the careful design of capable, rugged MWIR optics. Customers always prefer continuous zoom. MWIR packages need to fit within constrained volumes. All these requirements sum to a compendium of opposing forces: effective focal length (EFL) vs. volume, EFL vs. mass, and production and reliability vs. cost.

Sensors: EO The original airborne ISR sensor was simply a daylight video camera. While there is nothing simple about these cameras, from the outside, the advantages of mass-produced sensors and optics for the consumer video camera market has benefited the small UAV payload designer. Common OEM modules derived from consumer and security/surveillance video cameras are the standard EO package for most small UAV payloads. These OEM modules are highly integrated, mass-produced, relatively inexpensive, repeatable, and reliable (see Figure 3). While a typical horizontal narrow field of view (NFOV) of these sensors is 1.7 degrees, customers are constantly asking for better visual acuity. To the designer, this means more pixels per unit area on the ground, and better stability. The state-of-the-art technology at HoodTech has taken this narrow FOV value from the typical 1.7 degrees down to 0.3 degrees for the equivalent standard definition (SD) pixel. With this resolution and pixel size on the ground, HoodTech can assert that National Imagery Interpretability Rating Scale or (NIIRS) 9.0 or better is achieved.

Laser Channels As with the heavier manned systems, laser channels are becoming standard items in small UAV payloads. Laser rangefinders are commonly expected from customers asking verification of calculated slant range distances. Laser

Fig. 3 – Current capability of advanced stabilized EO UAV payloads. Narrow FOV image represents standard definition (SD) imagery with a 0.30 degree HFOV. All images were captured at 3000 meters using HoodTech’s standard payload, the Alticam 09 EO.

6 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

pointers are now expected to allow coordination between aircraft FMV and ground team vision. Laser designation from unmanned aircraft is in place currently from larger aircraft. It is likely that this laser channel will soon be expected in small UAV payloads. Small, lightweight, laser designators with powers on the order of 30 mJ are now under consideration for SWaP-efficient payloads. Power draw and heat load are significant challenges to be addressed by payload engineers considering this new class of designator.

On-Board Vision and Payload Processors With limited budgets in mass, volume, and power, performance trade-offs can often be recouped in on-board video processors. Small, creditcard-sized processing packages provide rich image processing functionality within reasonable SWaP budgets. It is difficult to envision a payload without on-board processing. Most payload missions expect video data to be correlated with aircraft inertial measurement unit (IMU) data. Minimal camera-local processing for embedding keylength-value (KLV) metadata is practically a baseline requirement. On-board vision processors, however, greatly expand payload capabilities, and have numerous advantages over the unconstrained processors available at the ground station. One of the greatest advantages has been realized in target tracking. Ground station tracking suffers from data drops in transmission. With tracking at the payload, this problem is confined. Capable processors provide for an additional level of video-based dejitter and image rotation often required in airborne platforms.

Naturally advantageous image processing can be layered at the payload with small processing packages. Spatial noise reduction, histogrambased intensity balance, contrast enhancement, pseudocolor are some common imageenhancement functions available. Target tracking, moving target detection, and multiple target tracking are available in highly capable payloads. For EO/IR payloads, image fusion, picture-inpicture, and side-by-side display options are available. For newer digital transmitters, onboard processing is required for conversion to IP video transport formats. Future payloads will need even greater capability. As wide-area-surveillance systems are deployed, target intelligence will need to be employed to deliver only relevant information to customers. Wide-area surveillance intends to employ multi-megapixel sensors to image large ground footprints. Bandwidth-limited, data-transmission systems will not be able to transfer even highly compressed FMV from these sensors. Processors will need to sift through multimegapixel arrays of data for the “golden nuggets” of information that will be useful to customers. As processing demands increase, the entire SWaP equation will start to emphasize the power component perhaps more so than the size and weight. To maintain quality FMV data transmission to the ground over digital networks, H.264 encoding will likely be a baseline standard as sensors get larger or more imaging channels are delivered to a limited bandwidth transmitter. Currently, each H.264 encoding step consumes nominally 5W, leaving little additional power for other processing functions. Payload designers will need to exploit the newest low-powerprocessing hardware to maintain the desired functions within constrained power budgets.

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Systems

> 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

SWaP-Efficient, 4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through 1000’s of launches and retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services ¡ Unmatched image stability

info@hoodtech.com www.hoodtech.com

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

Top Quality Imaging Surges in 21st Century Warfare Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

As military imperatives change, load bed technology and capability must also evolve to continue to deliver, in every sense

The very high levels of detail offered by the latest UAS imaging systems have been used by the American administration to identify and kill important members of Al Qaeda in hard to access areas outside the immediate war zone of Afghanistan.

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Payload On-Board SeaFox Surveillance Vessel.

U

nmanned aerial systems (UAS) have become central to the modern way of war in the 21st century. The United States Department of Defense has seen a 40-fold inventory increase of UAS in the 8 years between 2002 and 2010. The number of DOD unmanned aircraft increased from 167 to nearly 7,500 from 2002 to 2010. These UAS range from the size of an insect to a commercial airliner according to the latest specialist military aviation report on UAS drawn up for the United States Congress in 2012.1 And spending in the United States on UAS has followed the trend with growth from $284 million in FY2000 to $3.3 billion in FY2010. 2 And despite budget cuts, an increase in spending on new UAS is planned. For FY2012, DOD has asked for $3.9 billion in procurement and development funding with much more planned for the out years.

8 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Why Does the Military Want UAS? The conventional wisdom answer to this question is that unmanned systems are cost effective and that they minimise the risk to a pilotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life in situations that are dangerous. A more detailed answer is that unmanned systems are highly valued by combatant commanders for their versatility and persistence. UAS perform tasks such as surveillance, signals intelligence (SIGINT), precision target designation, mine detection, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance. So, unmanned aerial systems play an important role in delivering situational awareness in counter insurgency warfare. They also improve the accuracy of targeting, which is critical to reducing the number of non-combatants killed. And this therefore works toward the endgame of the counter


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

insurgency campaign in Afghanistan, which is to facilitate the Afghan security forces’ management of the security of their own country.

How Have Political Leaders Been Instructing the Military to use UAS? The use of drones or UAS has become an extremely widely debated and sensitive topic in the United States and the international community. The very high levels of detail offered by the latest UAS imaging systems have been used by the American administration to identify and kill important members of Al Qaeda in hard to access areas outside the immediate war zone of Afghanistan. John O. Brennan, the Obama administration’s top counterterrorism adviser, formulated the “National Strategy for Counterterrorism” in June 2011, where he described the use of drones as part of a plan for military and intelligence operatives to deliver “targeted, surgical pressure” on militant groups intent on attacking the United States. According to a UN special report on the subject, targeted killings are premeditated acts of lethal force employed by states in times of peace or during armed conflict to eliminate specific individuals outside their custody. The legality and ethics of targeted killings has been made more controversial because of the lack of accuracy of the attacks and the disputed level of noncombatant deaths that have been reported by some media. The use of drones outside the warzone of Afghanistan in Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq has also caused deterioration in diplomatic relations between these countries and the United States.3

The Impact of the Use of Drones on COIN The threat and deterrent effect of the use of all types of drones has changed the way that the insurgents operate. The New York Times writing in 2012 describes how the strikes have cast a pall of fear over North Waziristan, an area that was once a free zone for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, forcing militants to abandon satellite phones and large gatherings in favour of communicating by courier and moving stealthily in small groups.4 Similarly, coalition tactics are changing by the use of drones to deliver highly detailed realtime video streams to identify IEDs laid on

frequently used roads and paths. As IEDs are the primary cause of death to coalition soldiers, the drones’ persistent presence revealing small disturbances to the fabric of the road are a vital contribution to the safety of coalition soldiers.

Drones to be Used in Security Role to Aid Diplomacy While the use of tactical UAS delivering high quality video streams has hitherto been under the authority of the United States Department of Defense or the CIA, they are now being adopted by the State Department in “high threat” countries like Indonesia and Pakistan.5 The State Department drones carry no weapons and are meant to provide data and images of possible hazards, like public protests or roadblocks, to security personnel on the ground. They are much smaller than armed drones, with wingspans as short as 18 inches, compared with 55 feet for the Predators.

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Systems

> 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

Criticism by the UN of the Use of New Technology for Surveillance and Intelligence In a June 2010 report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations special representative on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, noted that the growing use of armed drones by the United States was undermining global constraints on the use of military force, and warned that the American example would lead to a chaotic world as the new weapons technology inevitably spread. He warned that the technology was making targeted killings much easier and more frequent; he added that drone operators, based thousands of miles away from the battlefield, risk developing a “PlayStation” mentality toward killing.

Handling the Data Flow While ISAF forces are still on the ground in Afghanistan, the use of drones, like the Predator and Reaper, generate 1,500 hours of full-motion video every day. It takes nineteen analysts a day to handle the data from one drone. And while the analysts are kept busy with current data levels, the next generation of surveillance technology that goes beyond the “soda straw view” to what is called the many headed “Gorgon stare” of the latest systems, will place even higher demand for instant analysis of the images delivered.

SWaP-Efficient, 4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through 1000’s of launches and retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services ¡ Unmatched image stability

info@hoodtech.com www.hoodtech.com

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

Small Tactical UAS in Action with the US Navy and Marines Corps Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

According to reports, the drones used were not only the larger Predators frequently alluded to in the media, but smaller STUAS carrying Hood technology imaging systems.

I

t is the US Navy and the Marines closely followed by Special Forces and the US Army that have been early adopters of STUAS (Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems). In July 2010, the Department of the Navy awarded Insitu, Inc. a two-year, $43.7 million contract for the design, development, integration, and test of the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) for use by the Navy and Marine Corps to provide persistent maritime and land-based tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) data collection and dissemination. For the USMC, STUAS will provide the Marine Expeditionary Force with a dedicated ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) system capable of delivering intelligence products directly to the tactical commander in real time. For the Navy, STUAS will provide persistent RSTA support for tactical manoeuvre decisions and unit-level force protection for Navy ships, Marine Corps land forces, and Navy Special Warfare Units.6 Payloads include day/night video cameras, an infrared marker, and a laser range finder, among others. STUAS can be launched and recovered from an unimproved expeditionary/ urban environment, as well as from the deck of Navy ships.

STUAS in Action Over Libya According to the American think tank, the Lexington Institute, STUAS have a valued and significant role in R2P (Responsibility to Protect) warfare similar to that undertaken by the ad hoc coalition in Libya in 2011. Here, manned air superiority had to be established early so that STUAS could be protected and allowed to deliver the imaging required to assess the rapidly changing situation on the ground. According to reports, the drones used were not only the larger Predators frequently alluded to in the media, but smaller STUAS carrying Hood technology imaging systems. STUAS have a takeoff weight of up to 125 pounds with a range 10 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

of 50 nautical miles. Hood technology is said to have contributed to a 99 percent missionreadiness rate and the ability to respond to timecritical and unplanned missions within 30 minutes of notification. During one set of operations over Libya, Hood Tech imagers achieved a 100 percent mission-readiness rate over more than 1,000 flight hours.7

The ScanEagle Spreads its Wings The US Navy, Marines Corps and Special Forces Command are all benefitting from the effectiveness of the range and endurance of the Boeing Insitu UAS ScanEagle. Developed as a “launch-and-forget” UAV, the ScanEagle autonomously flies to points of interest selected by a ground operator. The ScanEagle has long endurance capabilities and relative low cost. The gasoline-powered UAV features narrow 10 foot wings that allow the 40-pound vehicle to reach altitudes as high as 19,000 feet, distances of more than 60 nautical miles, and a flight endurance of almost 20 hours. Using an inertially stabilized camera turret carrying electro-optical and infrared sensors, ScanEagle currently provides force-protection ISR.8

Cost Control through Fee for Service The estimated cost of a ScanEagle is $100,000 per copy; however, the Navy and SOCOM have negotiated a fee for service contract. But, the report to Congress makes it clear that the fee for service contract limits the way the UAS can be used and that future STUAS using the ScanEagle’s common launch, control, and recovery equipment will be procured and used by forces personnel rather than Boeing/Insitu staff, which is the case for ScanEagle.9

Teal Group Market Study 2011 According to the Teal Group, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) make up the aerospace


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

HoodTech’s 09 Series Nose Cone with MWIR Windows

industry’s most dynamic growth sector. They say UAV spending is on pace to double during the next decade from current worldwide expenditures of $5.9 billion annually to $11.3 billion, totaling just more than $94 billion in the next 10 years. Looking specifically at the STUAS market the growth is also dramatic. More specifically the market for the payload for these UAS will replicate the growth of the systems themselves. The Teal Group report predicts development and production of increasingly sophisticated sensors for smaller tactical and mini/micro/nano UAVs, along with sensors for the U.S. Air Force Reaper and U.S. Army Grey Eagle which will drive continued growth.10

UAVs in a Back Pack – the RQ-14 Dragon Eye AeroVironment’s Dragon Eye is a backpackcarried, battery-operated UAV employed by the Marines. The Dragon Eye is small with a

3.8-foot rectangular wing, twin propellers, and two camera ports each capable of supporting daylight electro-optical cameras, low-light TV cameras, and infrared cameras. The compact lightweight design of the UAV gives an operational endurance of 45 minutes and a range of 2.5 nautical miles. After a 2003 operational assessment, the Marine Corps awarded AeroVironment a contract to deliver approximately 300 systems. However, the contract was later revised to acquire Raven UAS instead. One Dragon Eye system consists of three air vehicles and one ground station. The final Marine Corps procurement budget request in FY2006 priced the Dragon Eye system at $154,000 each.

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Systems

The US Army Favours the RQ-11 Raven Smaller than the ScanEagle, but bigger than the STUAS, is the RQ-11A Raven. The hand launched Raven provides Army and SOCOM personnel with “over-the-hill” reconnaissance, sniper spotting, and surveillance scouting of intended convoy routes. The electric motor initiates flight once hand-launched by a running start from the ground operator. An electric battery that needs to be recharged after 90 minutes powers the vehicle. Deployed soldiers are equipped with four auxiliary batteries that can be easily charged using the 28volt DC outlet in a Humvee. However, the UAV itself and the payload must be extremely rugged because it is landed via a controlled crash where the camera payload separates from the body. The US Army aims to acquire 2,200 Ravens to add to its supply of 1,300 in early 2012.

> 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

SWaP-Efficient, 4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through 1000’s of launches and retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services ¡ Unmatched image stability

info@hoodtech.com www.hoodtech.com

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

Next Generation Stabilised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

UK Armed Forces need the capability to carry out Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions within highly complex environments such as inside buildings and deep within urban canyons.

D

emand for next generation stabilised imaging and video-processing systems for small tactical UAVs is and will be strong, according to the 2012 Teal Group Global Market study. The study provides 10-year funding and production forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads, including ElectroOptic/Infrared Sensors (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), SIGINT and EW Systems, C4I Systems, and CBRN Sensors. It says these are worth $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2012 and are forecast to increase to $6.0 billion in fiscal year 2021. The UAV electronics market will grow steadily, with the fastest growth and opportunities in SAR and SIGINT/EW, according to Dr David Rockwell one of the authors of the study. Dr Rockwell predicts that overall, UAV SIGINT and EW markets will see a massive 20.2% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) from FY12 to FY17. He adds, few now question that ISR is ‘the centerpiece of our global war on terrorism’, with production beginning for major endurance UAV systems such as MP-RTIP (Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program), new development programs such as wide angle EO/IR systems, a variety of ground and foliage-penetrating radars and an ongoing ‘sensor drift’, as more sophisticated non-EO sensors are developed for smaller and smaller UAVs.11

UK MOD Follows the Trend for Interest in Next Generation Systems UK Armed Forces currently use fixed-wing mini UAS in a variety of roles, including reconnaissance and surveillance of troops and patrols, and they provide valuable situational awareness to commanders of troops in contact with the enemy. In a recent request for tenders, they have called for improvements in sub-system technologies that provide a step change capability for Mini UAS (up to 7kg). The UK MOD indicates that it needs innovation in the Micro (up to 2kg) and 12 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Midwave Infrared (MWIR) thermal image truck chase (Color)

Midwave Infrared (MWIR) thermal image truck chase (B&W)

Nano (up to 60g) categories that would see action in urban warfare, and responsibility to protect missions. UK Armed Forces need the capability to carry out Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions within highly complex environments such as inside buildings and deep within urban canyons. Part of this capability could, potentially, be Micro and Nano UAS, which have a very small size, light weight, natural covertness (aural and visual) and guaranteed availability (if carried by the force that is using them). They could also provide an important ISR capability for investigating areas that may be too dangerous for humans to enter without prior knowledge of the environment, for example collapsed buildings.12


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

France Fields the Harfang SIDM IUAV Program French forces in Afghanistan share American views on the value of UAS and are currently fielding an Israeli design mini UAV Harfang SIDM IUAV Program. EADS’ “Harfang” EAGLE SIDM (Système Intérimaire de Drone) MALE UAV (medium-altitude long-endurance system) was developed in conjunction with Israel Aerospace Industries, based on the Heron 2/TP. It is being used as an interim solution for France’s MALE UAV needs. It is said to complement the shorter range Sperwer (Sparrow Hawk) that it is also being used in Afghanistan. The Sperwer is a 3-meterlong unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by the French firm SAGEM. The aircraft is piloted remotely and can cruise at altitudes of over 16,000 feet for as long as five hours. It can send back images of targets up to 150 kilometres from its operators on the ground. France is reported to have other systems in development in collaboration with other European countries, at the medium, heavy, and UCAV levels. In 2009 French forces initiated tests of the jet-powered Barracuda UAV demonstrator in Canada. There is also ongoing progress on the multinational Talarion, and development of the EURO UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle).13

Growth in Demand for Security Applications for UAS for Civilian Use All UAS including STUAS are currently heavily restricted in use over American airspace. However, this is soon to change as a broad funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration passed the

House of Representatives in February 2012. There has been significant opposition, some based on safety concerns and air traffic coordination. However, the expansion of use of UAS by civilian and government bodies within the United States looks to expand rapidly.14 More than 50 institutions received approvals to operate remotely piloted aircraft. They include not only agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security but also smaller ones such as the police departments in North Little Rock, Ark., and Ogden, Utah, as well the University of North Dakota and Nicholls State University in Louisiana.15

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Systems

Next Generation Standards in Imagery Interpretability For this fast growing market in UAS there is also a fast changing driver to improve the quality of imagery provided by the multitudes of UAS systems. The American National Imagery Interpretability Rating Scale (NIIRS) provides a systematic approach to measuring the quality of photographic or digital imagery, the performance of image capture devices, and the effects of image processing algorithms. It is a highly detailed rating scale from 1-10.16 Some imaging system providers, like Hood Technology are working to move from level 8-9. This is an extraordinarily high level of detail. For example, Rating Level 8 demands identification of grill detailing and/or the license plate on a passenger/ truck type vehicle or identification of individual pine seedlings. While level 9 is even more refined, identifying individual grain heads on small grain (e.g., wheat, oats, barley).

> 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

SWaP-Efficient, 4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through 1000’s of launches and retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services ¡ Unmatched image stability

info@hoodtech.com www.hoodtech.com

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

New Features for UAS Payloads and the Future Mary Dub, Editor

“There’s nothing unmanned about them, it can take as many as 170 persons to launch, fly, and maintain such an aircraft as well as to process and disseminate its ISR products.” Former first Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Lt Gen David Deptula (2010)17

The new strategy would assign specific U.S.based Army brigades and Marine Expeditionary units to different regions of the world, where they would travel regularly for joint exercises and other missions, using permanent facilities and the forward-staging bases that some advisers call ‘lily pads’.

D

ealing with the high precision real time data flow from today’s UAS is a manpower intensive task. Even if the handling of the UAS and its data is done by employees of the manufacturer or analysts of the armed forces, it is still a laborious process. And the process is becoming increasingly global as the attention of American policy makers pivots to the East and Asia. In an exclusive article in the Wall Street Journal, Adam Entous revealed a new administration strategy to expand the production of drones. The U.S. aims to have enough drones for 65 combat air patrols. The Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s plan calls for a 30% increase in the U.S. fleet of armed unmanned aircraft in the coming years. It also foresees the deployment of more special-operations teams at a growing number of small “lily pad” bases across the globe where they can mentor local allies and launch missions.17 The new strategy would assign specific U.S.-based Army brigades and Marine Expeditionary units to different regions of the world, where they would travel regularly for joint exercises and other missions, using permanent facilities and the forward-staging bases that some advisers call ‘lily pads’. Marines, for example, will use a new base in Darwin, Australia, as a launch pad for Southeast Asia, while the U.S. is in talks to expand the U.S. presence in the Philippines – potential signals to China that the U.S. has quick-response capability in its backyard.

Cost Effectiveness Driver for UAS Payloads The future value of UAS and their high definition streams of imagery from stabilised cameras to tomorrow’s military depends on keeping the costs of new technology in the sensor payload down. The 2012 report to the United States Congress 14 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

noted that UAS have a higher attrition rate and lower reliability rate than manned aircraft, which means that the operation and maintenance costs can be higher. On the other hand, UAS ground control stations are capable of simultaneously flying multiple UAVs, somewhat restoring the advantage in cost to the unmanned system. Air Force Secretary, James Roche debated the arguments for and against expendability of UAS systems. At what threshold does an “expendable” UAV cost too much to lose? Sensors have consistently increased the cost of the air vehicle. The inexpensive designs of small UAV air vehicles like the Desert Hawk and Dragon Eye are dwarfed by the cost of the lightweight electro-optical/ infrared cameras that make up their payloads. On the other end of the size spectrum, the RQ-4B second generation Global Hawk’s sensor payload represents approximately 54% of the vehicle’s flyaway cost, which does not include the cost of the increased wingspan that shoulders the extra 1000 pounds of sensor suites.

The Technology Challenge for High Technology Sensor Providers To meet the demands of tomorrow’s UAS users, technology leaders like Dr Andy Von Flotow have several key criteria to meet. He describes how technology for UAVs imposes additional challenges. One obvious constraint is weight, but power is also an important issue. He added that, minimizing power consumption for the turret prolongs battery life, lengthening the vehicle’s range. The cameras draw about 3 watts, and the team at Hood Technology worked to restrict the platform requirements to the minimum, in part by using high-efficiency motors. He said a typical stabilizing/pointing turret draws about 4 watts, so that the entire package demands only 7 watts from the aircraft. Since the propulsion system


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging Systems

> 600,000 combat flight hours over 4,000 payloads delivered

HoodTech Stabilized Imaging 09 EO/IR-P includes MWIR, EO, and Laser Pointer.

itself demands only a few hundred watts, 7 watts is a good number for camera-system power. He added that a 200 watts camera payload would be about as unwelcome on these small aircraft as a 5-kg payload.

High Ruggedness Criteria for Resilience on Operations Dr Andy Von Flotow, CEO of Hood Technology, outlined additional qualities that successful and effective sensors on UAS must have. Machines that are to be capable of operating in Iraq and Afghanistan must be shielded from the very high dust levels prevalent in South Asia. Further, the same system could be operated by the Navy or the Marine Corps in salty and humid conditions, which place further demands on technology. Indeed, the heat can create thermal overload on the imagers undermining their capability. But it is the methods of launch and capture which add critically to the technology challenge: the sensors must be able to withstand 35Gs of force while they are catapulted into the air. And even a ‘smooth’ landing involves capture where the planes are flown into a vertical rope, which brings

them to land at a force of 20Gs. Stringent shock and vibration testing to produce a resilient product is necessary.

What Might the Future Look Like? Peering into the future often means looking at what DARPA is working on. It is also useful to look at the wish list that the British MOD is asking for its engineers to work on. They offer a mind boggling list: technologies that will enable the autonomous exploration of buildings by Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Micro/Nano UAS; autonomous navigation without GPS or remote piloting; efficient search algorithms – optimised autonomous search in unknown area; and finally technologies that will reduce the overall mass of the systems thus allowing enhanced/ extra mission payloads or increased endurance. The MOD engineers think this could be realised through miniature versions of existing technology or through integrated multi-function technology solutions. If they get what they are asking for, future systems will be smaller, lighter and highly powered.

SWaP-Efficient, 4-Axis Stabilized Payloads for Long-Range Imaging Adaptable Custom Designs Highest ISR Value per Gram ¡ Advanced EO/SWIR/MWIR/ LWIR stabilized imaging ¡ LP, ELRF, and LM laser channels ¡ Precision target hold, tracking, detection ¡ Rugged through 1000’s of launches and retrievals ¡ Advanced sensor integration services ¡ Unmatched image stability

info@hoodtech.com www.hoodtech.com

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 15


SPECIAL REPORT: STABILISED IMAGING AND VIDEO PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR SMALL TACTICAL UAVS

References: 1

 http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42136.pdf Congressional Research Service U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems Jeremiah Gertler Specialist in Military Aviation January 3, 2012

2

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42136.pdf Congressional Research Service U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems Jeremiah Gertler Specialist in Military Aviation January 3, 2012

Council on Foreign Relations: http://www.cfr.org/counterterrorism/targeted-killings/p9627

3

4

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/unmanned_aerial_vehicles/index.html Updated: March 20, 2012

5

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/unmanned_aerial_vehicles/index.html Updated: March 20, 2012

6

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42136.pdf Congressional Research Service U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems Jeremiah Gertler: Specialist in Military Aviation January 3, 2012

7

8

9

10

11

12

http://www.suasnews.com/2011/11/10320/protecting-hood-tech’s-uav-imaging-systems-is-vital-to-us-defense-operations/ Protecting Hood Tech’s UAV Imaging Systems is Vital to US Defense Operations 29 November 2011 By Gary Mortimer http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42136.pdf Congressional Research Service U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems Jeremiah Gertler Specialist in Military Aviation January 3, 2012 http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42136.pdf Congressional Research Service U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems Jeremiah Gertler Specialist in Military Aviation January 3, 2012 http://www.suasnews.com/2011/11/10320/protecting-hood-tech’s-uav-imaging-systems-is-vital-to-us-defense-operations/ Protecting Hood Tech’s UAV Imaging Systems is Vital to US Defense Operations 29 November 2011 By Gary Mortimer Teal Group Predicts Worldwide UAV Market Will Total $89 Billion in Its 2012 UAV Market Profile and Forecast Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1bEGj) WASHINGTON, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - UK MOD

13

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Apres-Harfang-Frances-Next-High-End-UAV-06451/ Feb 21, 2012 17:37 EST

14

Wall Street Journal online http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203889904577201170395161202.html By ANDY PASZTOR

15

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304331204577354331959335276.html By ANDY PASZTOR and JOHN EMSHWILLER

16

17

http://www.fas.org/irp/imint/niirs.htm National Image Interpretability Rating Scales January 26, 2012 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204624204577183234216799116.html By ADAM ENTOUS, JULIAN E. BARNES and SIOBHAN GORMAN

16 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


Defence Industry Reports… the Defence Industry Reports….the leading specialist combined leading specialist online research andcombined networking online research and networking resource for senior military and resource for senior military and defence industry professionals. defence industry professionals.

 •p toUpthe U minute Industry News other content available to the minute Industryand and Technology Technology News andand other content available to to allallsite users on a free of charge, open access basis. site users on a free of charge, open access basis.

 •ualified Q signed upupmembers abletoto access premium content Qualified signed members are are able access premium content SpecialSpecial Reports andand interact with usinga variety a variety of advanced Reports interact withtheir their peers peers using of advanced onlineonline networking tools. networking tools.

Designed to help usersidentify identify new solutions, understand the the  •esigned D to help users newtechnical technical solutions, understand implications of differenttechnical technical choices select the the bestbest solutions implications of different choicesand and select solutions available. available.

Thought Leadership Advice and from internationally recognised  •hought T Leadership – -Advice andguidance guidance from internationally recognised defence industry key opinion leaders. leaders defence industry key opinion

Input - Contributions from senior military personnel and defence industry  •eerPeer P Input – Contributions from senior military personnel and defence professionals industry professionals.

Independent Editorial Content – Expert and authoritative analysis from winning journalists and leading industry commentators award winning journalists and leading industry commentators.

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content.

Designed debate. • Writtento tofacilitate the highest professional standards

Written to the highest professional standards.

Independent Editorial Content - Expert and authoritative analysis from award

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content

Designed to facilitate debate

Visit: www.defenceindustryreports.com


Special Report – Stabalised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Stabalised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs

Special Report – Stabalised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Stabalised Imaging and Video Processing Systems for Small Tactical UAVs