Revolution is televised
- By David Perera
- Sep 08, 2008
The One System Remote Video Terminal is a small, portable system that has a big effect on battlespace awareness. It’s a key functionality of Task Force ODIN, which is an Army unit dedicated to spotting and killing insurgents who plant improvised explosive devices. ODIN stands for stands for observe, detect, identify and neutralize.
The task force links Army fixed-wing aircraft with high-tech sensors, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), helicopters and ground forces for a fast response to insurgent activity.
The terminal displays a live video feed from aerial sources and can juxtapose it with a mapping application.
“It gives everybody who has access to one of these systems the same exact common operation picture,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Jensen, product manager of common systems integration at the UAS office at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. The big terminal breakthrough was fusing UAS metadata to map display, Jensen added.
“Before the picture in the [tactical operations center] was only a straight video feed,” she said. “It’s like seeing a tornado, but you don’t know if it’s in Oklahoma or if it’s in Alabama.”
Because the military services couldn’t synthesize UAS feeds with maps, they could not know exactly where the enemy was or how to economically deploy forces in unfamiliar terrain.
Another feature of the terminal that lends itself to persistent surveillance is users’ ability to save pictures from UAS feeds.
Users manually add metadata to describe it and assign an icon such as friendly, threat or unknown. The next-generation terminal will be net-capable, Jensen said. The terminal also is not yet integrated with the Blue Force Tracking system, although it possible that the terminal could feed data into that system, said Maj. Jason Ross, assistant product manager for the terminal.