Eyes in the Sky: New Technology Gives UAVs a Way to Process High-resolution Video

R. Eaton and L. Cordeiro

Defense Tech Briefs, Supplement to NASA Tech Briefs, Volume 7, Number 4 (August 2013)

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are critical to today’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, supplying valuable aerial imagery to ground forces. Small UAV systems are a highly flexible ISR solution since they can be quickly deployed with minimal infrastructure and manpower. Unfortunately, their performance is hindered by limited bandwidth communication links and the stringent size, weight, and power (SWAP) constraints of small UAVs, which make onboard real-time processing of imagery impossible. As a result, a potential game-changing combination of high-resolution cameras and small UAVs has not yet been realized.

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