Unmanned Systems News

Partnership Enables Artificial Intelligence Sensor Analysis Capabilities for UAS Operators

Published: 24 Mar 2021 by

Sentient Vision Systems has partnered with Kongsberg Geospatial to enable real-time analysis of sensor video data from drone-based sensors, using Sentient’s Kestrel, an AI–enabled computer vision system that provides automated object detection.

Sentient Kestrel, an AI-enabled computer vision system that automatically detects objects in electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) video over land and maritime environments, has been integrated within Kongsberg MIDAS™ (Modular ISR Data Analysis and Storage) – a powerful tool for reviewing and comparing real-time, near real-time and historical sensor data, including full-motion video (FMV).

This new capability will help to enhance the effectiveness of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that are deployed by search and rescue organizations, law enforcement, and military organizations for a variety of applications, including Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and SAR missions.

MIDAS allows operators to examine video data in real-time, and easily compare and cross-reference it with data collected from previous missions in the same area. MIDAS seamlessly integrates with real-time tools like Sentient Kestrel for tasks like identifying a search and rescue subject under conditions where they might easily be missed – in heavily wooded areas, in poor weather, or on choppy seas.

The Kongsberg Geospatial MIDAS system is based on technology developed for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) project which required the storage and retrieval of vast amounts of intelligence data for later analysis by Intelligence Analysts. Kongsberg Geospatial has now packaged this functionality into a portable form factor for use by both military and civilian organizations.

Kestrel can detect objects down to a few pixels in size, and can dramatically increase the effectiveness of video surveillance, while reducing operator fatigue. In addition to highlighting objects in a live data feed, Kestrel provides object tracking with a visible history of movements and a predicted future path. Kestrel has been field-proven with a wide range of air platforms and has over 3,000 deployments across six continents.

“We developed MIDAS to provide a standards-based toolset to allow UAS operators to truly make effective use of video data to provide actionable intelligence”, said Ranald McGillis, president of Kongsberg Geospatial. “With the addition of Sentient’s Kestrel computer vision technology, we can extend that functionality to provide a tremendously useful near real-time capability for applications like search and rescue.”

“We are excited that our Kestrel object detection software is now part of the Kongsberg Geospatial MIDAS system”, said Dr Paul Boxer, Managing Director of Sentient Vision Systems. “The combination of these industry leading solutions will enable our customers to greatly enhance real-time situational awareness, intelligence analysis and lifesaving capabilities.”

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