Innovation Improves Drone Surveiliance

Moving-Target-Indicator-for-Micro-GimbalsA Latvian drone-equipment company is launching a new sensor array that may revolutionize police surveillance.

Octopus ISR Systems, a subdivision of UAV Factory Ltd., designs UAV subsystems, develops platforms, and manufactures airframes. Its latest product line, Moving Target Indicator, is a micro-gimbal system that deploys advanced moving-target detection capabilities for multiple targets.

The flagship Epsilon model features an onboard processor that analyzes video in real time and transmits full-frame-rate video to a ground control station. The telemetry can then immediately alert the operator to any moving target in the field of view. The system would allow users piloting manned or unmanned aircraft to isolate moving targets over a large area while still maintaining a macro viewpoint.

In a recent interview with DRONELIFE, Octopus Business Development Manager Konstantins Krivovs explained how MTI works:

“Let’s imagine that your aircraft is equipped with a capable gyro stabilized camera system. The image is stable, the operator can zoom in to the region of interest and the gimbal will automatically keep the region of interest inside the picture frame as the aircraft loiters at a significant standoff distance. As soon as the operator zooms in to the narrow field of view, he gains the ability to see the details and assess the situation inside the image frame. At the same time the operator loses the ability to see the entire area of interest. This is called as ‘soda straw’ effect since the operator is seeing a small fraction of the entire picture as if he would be looking through a soda straw.”

The technology would be especially helpful for law-enforcement surveillance and fugitive pursuit as well as search-and-rescue missions.

When movement is detected within the drone camera’s “field of vision,” the MTI system overlays a visual box into the video stream to mark the moving object.

For example, if a drone is covering an area where a hiker has disappeared, the system would notice smaller movements – such as the hiker waving his or her arms – and mark the area with a colored indicator box.  Likewise, if a suspect is evading capture by running from building to building, the MTI would easily detect the movement and zoom in.

“Operator can instantaneously see all the moving objects, identify the direction of movement, the amount of objects and take the necessary actions,” Krivovs said. “Since the detection part is handled by the software, there is little risk of something that would remain undetected during the mission.”

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