Machine Vision and Situational Awareness

A manufacturing floor and battlefield may seem worlds apart, but both rely on machine vision technology to speed decision making and provide deeper insight for automated processing and human intervention.

In a local situational awareness (LSA) system for a military ground-based vehicle, for example, real-time video is transmitted to display panels for crew members to navigate the windowless ground-based vehicle and survey surroundings.  In these sophisticated systems, video and data from multiple imaging sources must be shared across multiple endpoints – including computers used for automated analysis and display panels for human observation – over a common infrastructure.

Military system designers are migrating to networked digital distribution systems that meet cost and size, weight, and power (SWaP) demands, support future scalability, and simplify usability by sharing video across an integrated Ethernet network.

Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) is a natural choice for video transmission in military imaging systems. It allows designers to support required point-to-point connections while gaining the flexibility of video networking, the ability to interwork with a range of different computing platforms, and deploy light-weight, low-cost, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Cat 5/6 cabling. The standard also aligns with British, NATO, and American military standards that outline the mechanisms and protocols for distributing digital video over Ethernet infrastructure.

Our video interface expertise is being increasingly designed into situational awareness systems for security and defense applications. We were recently invited to contribute to Electronic Military and Defense magazine’s Annual Resource on the migration of machine vision into military applications. You can find the article written by Pleora engineer Marc-Andre Casavant on page 25 of the resource guide.