Seeing Clearly

The classic pop song “I can see clearly now” was penned and sung in 1972 by Johnny Nash and has become a bit of an earworm for me recently - and I really wasn’t sure why. Of course, it’s strange how the human brain pins one thought to another and forms the images and sounds in the mind… And then it came to me in an “A-ha” moment this morning…  That’s it!

Seeing clearly the situation around you, making sense of all the inputs and fusing them together to form a high definition view of a world that is presenting you with threats and challenges you can’t ordinarily see – I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

Why? Because I’ve been preparing for the launch of our new GVC1001 ultra-high performance graphics, vision and AI evaluation platform.  Together with Abaco’s recently launched AXIS ImageFlex 2.0, it offers that capability to ‘see’ in the most challenging conditions - and the solution to those challenges for military sensor fusion applications in 360° situational awareness, autonomous vehicles, EO/IR processing, non-Cert Degraded Visual Environment (DVE), display processing, moving map, wide-area persistent surveillance, hyperspectral sensor fusion, IED detection, synthetic aperture radar processing and many more.

These types of compute-, data- and image-intensive applications are now requiring AI, deep learning techniques and inferencing engines - which the GVC1001 delivers on. The GVC1001 you see (pun intended), leverages the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier SoM functionality and performance and augments this with all the interfaces needed for these types of applications such as Dual SFP+ (fiber) 10 Gigabit Ethernet data plane ports (e.g. for multiple GigE camera aggregation), dual 1 Gigabit Ethernet control/data plane ports, dual DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity, dual CANbus ports and dual USB 3.0. Bulk storage is provided by the on-board 256 GB NVMe SSD, allowing the GVC1001 to accommodate very large data sets.

Half the story

However, processing performance, comprehensive I/O and bulk storage capability are just half the story. How do we turn this into a solution that can see clearly through a degraded visual environment (DVE) such as smoke or a sandstorm or morph images to provide a seamlessly stitched hemispherical awareness of the environment? Continuing along the song theme - albeit (depending on your opinion) much less of a classic - Lee Majors sang (the Fall Guy theme tune - bear with me): “He’s the unknown stuntman who made Eastwood look so fine”. Abaco’s AXIS ImageFlex 2.0 software package is the unknown stuntman (or woman) that translates the power and flexibility of the GVC1001 into something very unique and special for its intended application base.

The ImageFlex image processing and visualization toolkit enables rapid development of high performance image processing and visualization applications. Its API provides functions for a range of image processing operations from simple image transformations through to more complex lens distortion correction, image morphing and image stabilization. It provides an innovative, high performance image fusion function that can fuse image data from multiple sources of different resolutions. The algorithm adaptively adjusts to pull through the regions of highest contrast in each source to produce a fused result, enabling an observer or processing stage to act on the combined information of the sources. Wow.

So, now I know what that earworm was all about - the combination of these two new solutions from Abaco is a very exciting prospect indeed. With the GVC1001 and ImageFlex 2.0, it’s not just the rain and the dark clouds that have gone – it’s the sand and the fog too, enabling warfighters to see all obstacles in their way.

About the Author

Stuart Heptonstall | Global Product Manager

Stuart is Abaco’s Global Product Manager for graphics and related products, including the extensive work we are doing in AI and machine learning, based on NVIDIA’s technology. Located at our European HQ in Towcester, England, Stuart achieved a BEng in Communications Systems Engineering at Leeds Metropolitan University, and an MBA from Loughborough University.

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