The first flight tests of the Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System, or ARGUS-IS, occurred aboard a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The tests demonstrated the system's multiple video windows for persistent area surveillance and tracking capabilities for vehicles and dismounted soldiers.
The airborne processing system can simultaneously and continuously detect and track the presence and motion of thousands of small or large targets over an area covering tens of square miles. BAE Systems designed and produced the system's sensor and processor.
"ARGUS-IS will significantly advance the Army's capability to protect its troops through improved search and surveillance capabilities," said Dr. John Antoniades, ARGUS program manager and director of remote sensing technology for BAE Systems.
BAE Systems equipment aboard ARGUS-IS consists of a high-resolution, extreme wide-area, real-time video sensor; an on-board processing system; and ground processing for interactive multi-target designation, tracking, and exploitation.
"The ARGUS-IS system overcomes the fundamental limitations of current airborne surveillance systems," said Dr. Steven Wein, director of optical sensor systems at BAE Systems. "Very high-resolution imaging systems required for vehicle and dismount tracking typically have a 'soda-straw' view that is too small for persistent coverage. Existing wide-area systems have either inadequate resolution or require multiple passes or revisits to get updates."
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory awarded BAE Systems an initial $18.5 million contract to lead the ARGUS-IS effort in late 2007. The system is targeted for use in Department of Defense unmanned and manned surveillance platforms.
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is the premier global defense, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008.