Aurora, SRI International Sarnoff infuse Skate small unmanned aerial system with video processing

WASHINGTON, 24 Oct. 2012. Engineers at Aurora Flight Sciences and SRI International Sarnoff have integrated the SRI Sarnoff DL Micro digital data link and video processor into the Aurora Skate small unmanned aerial system (SUAS) to maximize the real-time delivery of video.

Small, unmanned aerial systems equipped with on-board cameras provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) for military and law enforcement missions.
"We approached SRI Sarnoff for this initiative because they are experts in embedded video processing," says Carl Schaefer, director of Small UAS Programs at Aurora. "The DL Micro digital data link enhances our Skate platform by upgrading video quality and transmission."

SUAS often require image stabilization to upgrade the video's smoothness, quality, and compression; at the same time, airborne payloads suffer size and weight constraints. The DL Micro system, weighing 46 grams and consuming 5.8 watts during transmission, meets the need for reduced size, weight, and power consumption, says a company representative.

"Stabilized SUAS video is smoother, easier to interpret, easier to compress, and requires less bandwidth to transmit to the ground. The DL Micro enhances payload performance for the SUAS market," says a spokesperson.

Related stories

-- SRI International introduces salience-based compression (SBC) module for Terrasight video exploitation systems

-- SRI International to develop prototype virtual-reality training system for Marine Corps infantry

-- Flying the black pizza box: a new flavor of small UAV

"We are always looking for applications where SRI's embedded video processing technology can help our customers add value to their systems. With an operational ceiling of 13,000 feet, the Aurora Skate literally takes high-quality video to a new level," says Mark Clifton, vice president, SRI Sarnoff Products and Services Division.

For military and civilian applications, the Aurora Skate SUAS marries the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability of helicopters with the simplicity and endurance of fixed-wing flight. The compact Skate SUAS is designed around a common airframe and common ground control system to support a wide range of users.

To access this Article, go to: