June 20, 2011 Andrew White SHEPARD GROUP
NATO forces have much work to do in order to fully exploit video imagery generated from ISR platforms, according to an industry specialist.
Speaking to Shephard, senior systems engineer at 2d3 Sensing, James Srinivasan, echoed comments from UK and US ISR officials by claiming that, as far as large volume streaming video was concerned, ‘we are behind in the exploitation of imagery’.
This, he stated, was of prime importance to ongoing ISAF operations in Afghanistan, especially where some 40 nations are looking to disseminate and share ISR information. ‘Interoperability is important and ISAF needs to work on this as well as non-government organisations and other government departments,’ Srinivasan continued. ‘Video is inherently different to still imagery and it is hard to shoe-horn into still imagery databases.’
According to Srinivasan, video imagery is increasing at a massive rate with 39 US Combat Air Patrols (CAP) alone (featuring US Air Force Predator UAVs) amassing a total of 350,000 hours of video imagery in 2010. This compares to projections for 2011 which forecast 48 CAPs producing approximately 420,000 hours which is set to rise further to 570,000 hours in 2013 with some 65 CAPs in operation.
‘Storing all of this full motion video is actually quite easy but once stored, how do we retrieve it?’ he asked.
Looking to the future, he described increased use of metadata and highlighted improvements in colour and contrast enhancement; stabilisation which would allow platforms to operate at greater ranges from targets; super-resolution; ‘mosaicing’ as a data reduction technique; and moving target indication.