29 Maret 2012

DSTO Demonstrates Vision Technology for ADF Vehicles

29 Maret 2012

Desert Owl on display at the Puckapunyal Army training facility (photo : DSTO)

Computerised vision technology, designed to enhance ADF vehicle situation awareness has been demonstrated at the Puckapunyal Army training facility in Victoria.

Desert Owl is being developed by computer vision and software firm Sentient, as part of the

Defence Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program (CTD), managed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

The system analyses Full Motion Video imagery from EO/IR sensors to perform Mobile Target Indication from mobile ground vehicles to identify potential targets and threats.

Alan Hinge, CTD Program director, says that Desert Owl is designed with two distinct technology components, ‘to provide advanced vehicle awareness.’

“A component known as Panoptes provides automated target detection from a stationary, sweeping camera. In Greek mythology, Panoptes was a giant with 100 eyes,” Hinge says.

Vinod Puri, DSTO’s Chief Technology Officer, Land Operations Division, said, "This technology can detect and track moving targets down to a few pixels in size – cueing operators to small or slow moving and hard to see targets, in difficult terrain. It can also detect stationary objects that may have moved since the camera was first directed at that location.”

A separate Ground Change Detection component can identify variations in a landscape, between successive camera transits through an area.

“With this component,” explains Hinge, “Desert Owl records imagery of the environment. On subsequent transits, the system compares live imagery of the road ahead with this recorded imagery and identifies visual changes, including disturbances to the ground surface, additional, moved or removed objects.”

Desert Owl, currently in the sixth of nine Technology Readiness Levels, could be applied to any ADF land vehicle.

The CTD Program was established to improve priority Defence capabilities. It provides Australian and New Zealand industry and research organisations an opportunity to demonstrate technology and allows Defence to assess its potential and associated risks.

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