Driver vision aid for the military merges multiple spectra

August 22, 2016 // By Julien Happich
RFEL's Trailblazer improves driver and crew effectiveness by extending the field of view beyond the normal spectrum, even in adverse weather and low-light conditions.

Where primary vision is restricted, such as in armoured vehicles operating with hatches down, Trailblazer’s dual-channel daylight and infrared video sensors, along with RFEL’s sophisticated image processing technology, can give the driver, crew and commander views from ahead and behind, in all weathers, day or night. The inclusion of a high quality, long-wave infrared camera channel extends this capability across the thermal scene. A powerful on-board processing package, including RFEL’s Digital Video Fusion algorithm allows for threat and obstacle detection, downwards, nearby and far away, and a comfortable view of the route, intuitively tuned to the human operator’s needs.

Offering multiple, independent channel outputs on the network interface, Trailblazer can provide video to more than one user on the platform. Each user can command views from front and rear, including wide-angle situational awareness views in addition to driving views and, by exploiting the underlying higher resolution of the raw sensor, a high quality digital zoom capability. This can aid the driver in terrain negotiation and obstacle avoidance, route selection and improve manoeuvrability, whilst other crewmembers can assist with surveillance tasks in parallel to ensure safe and effective operation. This array of data streams need not swamp the platform’s available bandwidth either: output channels can be capped, fixed or shared over the available bandwidth, leaving the integrator fully in control of operating margins and reliability.

The product has two complementary interfaces. The first is a native digital video HD-SDI output, requiring only simple coaxial cabling and a point-to-point installation to create a closed circuit driving aid, including connectivity to the rear view unit. The second is a GVA compliant DEF STAN 00-082 VIVOE (Vetronics Infrastructure for Video Over Ethernet) streaming interface, designed specifically to support the new breed of networked video vehicle electronics (Vetronics) architectures, such as the UK’s GVA. With their own respective control interfaces, these options can be used separately, or simultaneously.

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