Wide Area Motion Imagery Capability Tested on Small UAV

motion imagery

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For the first time, a wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) system has been carried in the internal payload bay of a small integrator tactical UAV.

Logos Technologies and Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, announced the successful initial flight test of the Redkite wide-area sensor aboard the Integrator small tactical unmanned aircraft, according to Logos website.

Redkite is a small electro-optical system that weighs less than 35lbs and performs at the level of larger WAMI sensors. It can be mounted on a variety of civilian and military platforms. In addition to light planes and helicopters, the sensor can go on small- and medium-sized unmanned aircraft. As such, Redkite lends itself to military, homeland security and public safety missions, including: force protection, tactical-level persistent surveillance, route reconnaissance and overwatch, border security, police aerial patrol, suspect tracking, data-driven policing, and monitoring wildfires and suppression progress.

“In the past, we’ve mounted podded versions of our lightweight WAMI systems to rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft,” says John Marion, president of Logos Technologies. “Now, thanks to further reductions in weight, we can easily fit a Redkite inside a tactical unmanned platform, as demonstrated with our recent flights on the Insitu Integrator.”

Despite its compact form, Redkite can image a city-sized area (over 12 square kilometers) all at once—detecting, tracking and recording all significant movers within the scene. It also stores up to eight hours of this geo-tagged mission data on onboard solid state drives (SSDs).

While the WAMI sensor is flying, multiple users on the ground can select real-time and/or historical video feeds within its expansive coverage area and view them on desktop screens, tablets and other mobile devices. Redkite can transmit up to 10 unique views to hundreds of users at one time.

In addition, the new sensor weight means that Redkite can potentially be integrated with even smaller unmanned aircraft in the future.