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Panoramic Vision Systems
at the Modern Day Marine Expo

Photos: Noam Eshel

Panoramic Vision is becoming a common requirement for modern combat vehicle s. A number of systems were displayed at the Modern Day Marine expo, most systems are based on an integration of video images provided from multiple staring cameras (CCDs) into a panoramic view of the vehicle's surrounding. Panoramic vision systems are considered an essential element for perimeter protection and situational awareness. SA can be further enhanced with the addition of gunshot detection systems and remotely operated weapon stations (RWS) covered in a separate section of this report. (more...)

Boomerang III Acoustic Gunshot detector

The latest version of the Boomerang acoustic sniper detection system operates on stationary or moving vehicles (up to 60 mph), detecting fire sources by processing the gunshot's haracteristic acoustic signature, determining the relative shooter's bearing, elevation and distance. Boomerang III usually processes a gunshot solution within less than a second. To minimize false alarms, the system responds only to gunshot trajectories passing within 30 meters of the sensor mast and shooters firing at maximum effective weapons ranges. The system also filters gunshots fired from the vehicle, signals picked from road bumps, door slams, vehicle backfires, firecrackers, wind effect and radio noise etc.

MPSVS from EDO

Multi-user Panoramic Synthetic Vision System (MPSVS) from EDO Corp offers
360 visual situational awareness for crew collaboration and threat engagement. The system uses multiple video cameras installed in a ring mount attached to the base of standard CROWS weapon stations. The system enables the crew to remain 'buttoned up' while being fully visually aware and engaged. The system provides 360 stereo 3D images in day and night, under all visibility conditions. A unique capability offered by the system is the use of video change detection for route clearance missions, where previously collected video streams 'change detection' algorithms are employed to past (recorded) and live feed, detecting suspicious objects along the route of march.

MPSVS can be integrated with counter-sniper systems such as the Boomerang III, to facilitate effective sniper engagement. It also performs passive target designation, which can be use to direct the weapon station or remote weapons. The panoramic coverage enables the crew to constantly survey their perimeter, regardless of the weapon's line of sight. They can track multiple targets simultaneously in queue for engagement by the weapon station. The system has an integral 'combat playback' capability, enabling review of critical events, allowing for the identification of suspicious elements in real-time or during debrief.

ODR HV from ODF Optronics

Another omni-panoramic vision system was displayed by ODF Optronics through their US representative Mistral. The system uses multiple cameras integrated in a bulky sensor pod installed on the vehicle's roof. The system includes four to six cameras and a single, rotatable high resolution camera, which provides 'close-up' viewing of targets of interest. The capture of the omni-directional scene is performed simultaneously from all cameras, staring over a 360 deg. without the need to rotate an imaging device.

The system, an evolution of the omni-panoramic mast-mounted camera introduced in 2004, enables multiple users to watch the vehicle's surroundings simultaneously, each with a specific region of interest or allows for single user surrounding assessment. The rapid 'stitching' of pictures, performed in real time and on the move, require significant image processing. Pre-processing is performed on the sensor pole while the remaining is performed on the system's 'black box' or operating computer, which can also be utilized for video motion detection, enabling perimeter protection for 'silent guard' mission, offer obstacle avoidance when driving or reversing in narrow urban terrain and offering 'close-up' views of specific areas of interest, regardless to where the vehicle or sight is pointing at.

This camera is controlled by the operator, and is aimed at locations designated by the controller. Panoramic vision systems are currently considered for installation in various combat vehicles, including the MRAP.

Other topics covered in this review:

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