Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-01-2698
2011-10-18

Sensor Video Integration and Processing in the Modular Avionics Architecture 2011-01-2698

Use of airborne high resolution digital sensor imagery is ever increasing. Color HDTV, infrared cameras and radar are examples of such sensors. And they are becoming increasingly used for mission purposes by the military, police, customs and coast guard onboard helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. These users have requirements for onboard presentation, analysis and storage. Use of weather radars and other similar types of sensors are flight oriented applications in major types of aircraft.
Another application is the integration of cockpit and cabin surveillance systems onboard commercial airlines. Cabin surveillance systems, growing from cockpit door cameras to complete cabin surveillance, will use several cameras. The purpose is to acquire and store imagery from un-normal events including unruly passengers and eventual terrorists. The primary intentions are security awareness in the cockpit as well as collecting evidence for a potential prosecution. Further advancement may include image library technologies, high level image processing, anomaly detection and data link connections.
Integration of sensor image video into the modular avionic architecture is a challenge due to the high bandwidth and wide range of requirements set by the different applications. Examples of high-end applications are use of infrared sensor in an Enhanced Vision System and use of color HDTV for customs or police search operations to acquire intelligence. Low-end applications include mainly non-flight related use, for example cargo bay surveillance.
The sensor imagery needs to be presented onboard and often also recorded (stored). The different sensor video signals need to be transferred over a network or similar architecture to be available for presentation on desired displays. The sensors often have a different resolution and a different format than the displays. Use of image processing may also be needed to improve onboard analysis. The display function requires scaling, format conversion, de-interlacing and switching. For storing large amount of image data there is a need for data compression. Commercial image compression algorithm such as mpeg2, mpeg4 and jpeg2000 are used. The image storage can be regarded as a multi-channel video recorder. The handling and storage of the sensor video need to be supported by ground stations.

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