Washington: A new technology in advanced development at Finmeccanica’s Elsag by its Blu Sky team, offers hope that IED’s and roadside bombs can be detected by special video cameras mounted on helicopters. The same technology can be used for protecting military bases, border security, protection of coast lines, and for search and rescue. Sold under the Blu Sky name, the advanced imaging technology offers a new way to rapidly analyze complex scenes and find hidden objects.
Blu Sky has created the ultimate “smart camera”. Typically, cameras that use infrared provide noisy video images which in “standard” smart cameras lead to false alarms or failure to detect important events.
In the Blu Sky system, infrared and other noisy images are analyzed by special algorithms that can see “through” the noise and even understand the difference between human movement and natural movements in the scene. Blu Sky can single out humans hiding behind trees and bushes, for example without being confused by other movement in the scene.
This enhanced capability is essential for tasks such as base perimeter defense and border security.
Blu Sky R&D is adapting its system to hyper-spectral cameras and will soon be able to use its system on moving platforms as well as at fixed sites.
Blu Sky anticipates the moving platform version will be available in six months. The system can help the U.S. and its coalition partners detect roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices. Recent tests of the Blu Sky system have confirmed that the system has the capability to find hidden objects based on the “signature” those objects have. In the tests, a large number of objects were hidden in a small village, but all were successfully and accurately identified.
The same innovation can be used to permit rapid scanning of objects in known environments, such as airports. Packages and suitcases that are “tainted” by drugs or explosives can be camera scanned and, if the substances are present, identified. Because it is a non-invasive camera system, it can scan suitcases and packages moving along a normal conveyer belt or even objects
Blu Sky can play an important role in detecting swimmers in fresh and sea water, where visual identification is difficult. Therefore it is a tool that can help protect coastal areas against incursions, on the one hand, and is valuable in the search and rescue mission. The Blu Sky system is designed to be fast enough to provide results in real time, or near real time.
For more information on this topic please contact:
Stephen Juliano of Finmeccanica Inc. - 202-292-2626
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