Wide Area Surveillance

Wide Area Surveillance (WAS)

Wide Area Surveillance is a situational awareness image processing application employed by Sea Eagle electro optical systems to aid situational awareness. When the system is employed in surveillance mode the it can perform a number of azimuth scan patterns with automatic detection of ‘contacts’. Scan patterns range from continuous 360 degrees to defined arcs and these can be displayed as a continuous strip.

An example of a defined arc scan is shown in Figure 1.  A panorama of the scene is built up over the defined arc shown highlighted on the radar mimic display, as the sensors are panned over the arc.  The current azimuth position of the EOD and the sensor FoV is indicated on the radar mimic display as a highlighted grey sector.

The panorama is continuously updated as the sensor is panned across the scene.  Targets are automatically detected during the scanning process and highlighted on the panoramic display with enclosing rectangles.  Corresponding markers are indicated to the operator on the radar mimic display, giving the location of the detections in relation to the attitude of the ship.  Range to the target is initially estimated from the look down angle of the target.  This range estimate can be improved if a laser range finder is fitted to the system.

The system will detect multiple targets and these are classified with regard to pre-set parameters such as course, size and range.  Each detected target is given a unique identifier. The system operator is able to amend target codes subject to visual observation/classification, and this is illustrated in Figure 1 with the two smaller targets being classified as a low threat shown in blue.

The operator can interrupt the scanning process at any time to interrogate a particular target or region of the video, as illustrated in Figure 2.  Full control of the EOD is available from the joystick and the operator can engage the auto track onto the target by pressing the trigger on the joystick.  The operator can select either the TV or Thermal Imager as the source to be displayed as the primary video, with the other source being displayed in a smaller window.  All normal sensor control functions such as zoom and focus are available to the operator through dedicated switches or rollerball access to the icons on the display.  A small radar mimic is also available to provide situational awareness to the operator.