Improving Awareness When Visual Integrity Is Compromised

dve v2Military vehicle operations increasingly involve dangerous and degraded environments that can’t be navigated with the Mark I Eyeball alone. Safety risks require the driver to remain below armor, relying on indirect vision systems (or DVEs) that lack the full sensory experience of looking out the hatch.

In a recent white paper, GE Intelligent Platforms explores a number of solutions that attempt to bridge this gap between technology and instinct — as well as their limitations. These concepts are the result of GE’s extensive work with many military vehicle makers in the area of “visualization processing”:

Option 1: Add cameras to existing systems

This approach is simple, but largely ineffective, as constant shifting between images may become confusing and/or compromise safety. A better option combines these views in a single display.

Option 2: Fuse different sensor types

Fusing thermal imaging with low-light TV cameras enhances the overall image to create a more natural visualization of an area, but the heavy processing required results in visualization latency.

Option 3: Incorporate non-imaging sensors

Employing sensors that extend beyond the purely visual field in coverage or spectrum — such as LIDAR or MMW radar — can increase the useful field of view, but they can’t be used in all operational scenarios because their radiation is detectable.

Option 4: Improve the display

Utilization of a high resolution display with intelligent processing and improved HMI behind it will allow for an increase in both acuity and coverage while also providing intuitive, additional metadata.

Option 5: Add automation/analytics

The final stage in the evolution of DVE is increased automation, wherein much of the work and judgment in operating the vehicle is provided through computational analysis of the environment.

Improving visualization in low-visibility environments is the result of assembling the most appropriate existing hardware and software sets on evolving roadmaps. The basis for all these functionalities is the ability to characterize the imagery and metadata received and generate a data construct that can be parsed quickly for specific analyses.

Learn more about how both small “swaps” and full situational awareness systems can extend the vision of military vehicle operators beyond standard DVEs—download the white paper here.

Todd Stiefler

Todd joined GE from the world of Washington politics, and in no time at all has moved on to his second assignment, which sees him managing business development for the services GE is increasingly looking to offer to customers, including the Proficy SmartSignal predictive analytics software.

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