DSCS, a 4 megapixel streaming video payload for UAVs
This project was funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Garry Shields, director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division (NSWCCD), controlled development of this system and communication among the different companies and research facilities involved. The goal of the project was to detect a standard 12-ounce soda can (simulated IED) from 500 feet altitude with high resolution digital imagery captured and transmitted by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It turns out we were able to resolve foot prints, ground distrubances, and objects as thin as an extension cord. The CONOPS would be to fly down a suspect road just before a convoy and compare the data to the previous day's flight and search for possible disturbance areas where an IED might be likely. A secondary goal was to improve situational awareness on board unmanned vehicles with a specialized 360 degree camera. The UAV platform chosen for this project was a small plane with an 8 foot wingspan and a 5 kilogram max combined payload and fuel capacity.
Hildstrom Engineering was tasked with general development support of the payload and ground station systems including: