Automated UAV-based Video Exploitation using Service Oriented Architecture Framework

Airborne surveillance and reconnaissance are essential for successful military missions. Such capabilities are critical for troop protection, situational awareness, mission planning, damage assessment, and others. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) gather huge amounts of video data but it is extremely labour-intensive for operators to analyze hours and hours of received data. At MDA, we have developed a suite of tools that can process the UAV video data automatically, including mosaicking, change detection and 3D reconstruction, which have been integrated within a standard GIS framework. In addition, the mosaicking and 3D reconstruction tools have also been integrated in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework. The Visualization and Exploitation Workstation (VIEW) integrates 2D and 3D visualization, processing, and analysis capabilities developed for UAV video exploitation. Visualization capabilities are supported through a thick-client Graphical User Interface (GUI), which allows visualization of 2D imagery, video, and 3D models. The GUI interacts with the VIEW server, which provides video mosaicking and 3D reconstruction exploitation services through the SOA framework. The SOA framework allows multiple users to perform video exploitation by running a GUI client on the operator's computer and invoking the video exploitation functionalities residing on the server. This allows the exploitation services to be upgraded easily and allows the intensive video processing to run on powerful workstations. MDA provides UAV services to the Canadian and Australian forces in Afghanistan with the Heron, a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV system. On-going flight operations service provides important intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information to commanders and front-line soldiers.