Aurora Integrates SRI International’s On-Board Video Processor into Skate SUAS

By Caroline Rees / 22 Oct 2012
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The Aurora Skate® Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS)

Aurora Flight Sciences and SRI International Sarnoff have announced the integration of the SRI Sarnoff DL Micro™ digital data link and video processor into the Aurora Skate® Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS). This pairing maximizes the real-time delivery of quality video from the SUAS.

Small, unmanned aerial systems are critical for military and law enforcement, where on-board cameras deliver intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) for pop-up and fleeting threats. Image stabilization enhances the mission by upgrading video smoothness, quality, and compression.

In the airborne environment, the size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP) of payloads are also severely constrained. The DL Micro system meets the need, weighing 46 grams and consuming 5.8 watts during transmission.

“We approached SRI Sarnoff for this initiative because they are experts in embedded video processing,” said Carl Schaefer, director of Small UAS Programs at Aurora. “The DL Micro digital data link enhances our Skate platform by upgrading video quality and transmission.”

According to Mark Clifton, vice president, SRI Sarnoff Products and Services Division, “We are always looking for applications where SRI’s embedded video processing technology can help our customers add value to their systems. With an operational ceiling of 13,000 feet, the Aurora Skate literally takes high-quality video to a new level.”

Providing excellent military and civilian applications, the Aurora Skate SUAS combines the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability of helicopters with the simplicity and endurance of fixed-wing flight. The system is compact and can be packed easily for forward deployment. The Skate SUAS is designed around a common airframe and common ground control system to support a wide range of users.

Electronic image stabilization combined with H.264 encoding gives the DL Micro digital data link specific advantages. Stabilized SUAS video is smoother, easier to interpret, easier to compress, and requires less bandwidth to transmit to the ground. The DL Micro enhances payload performance for the SUAS market. Skate is a low cost solution and currently available for sale in the U.S. and foreign markets.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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