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Visual Intelligence Releases iOne STKA for UAV Mapping Apps

May 12, 2014  - By
Image: GPS World

Visual Intelligence has announced that its iOne Software Sensor Tool Kit Architecture (iOne STKA) is available for purchase or licensing by manufacturers of unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs) who want to deliver an integrated UAV/geospatial imaging solution to customers.

Capturing high-resolution imagery for applications in engineering, construction, urban planning, military missions and other uses is a significant emerging market for UAV manufacturers, and Visual Intelligence’s iOne STKA makes it possible to bring high-resolution geospatial sensors to UAVs, the company said. By purchasing or licensing Visual Intelligence’s geospatial imaging platform, UAV companies can meet emerging demand for geoimaging solutions that combine the benefits of UAVs with the imaging capabilities of a geoimaging platform.

iOne STKA provides the technology foundation to configure a variety of multi-purpose sensors, including miniaturized 2D/3D applications, for the emerging UVS and mobile/handheld markets. The iOne STKA received the Geospatial Forum 2013 World Technology Innovation in Sensors Award, is the first to be considered for NEANY’s Arrow UAV, and is field-proven by the commercial large-format 2D/oblique/3D multipurpose metric mapping systems iOne IMS, iOne Stereo, and iOne n-Oblique.

With the iOne STKA, the same UAS/UAV sensor system architecture can be used for agricultural and forestry mapping, pipeline or corridor monitoring, utility assessments, aerial surveys, research, persistence surveillance and other metric 2D/3D professional applications. The iOne STKA is a modular multipurpose sensor platform reconfigurable for UAVs of any size. With the iOne STKA, UAV manufacturers are no longer limited to offer monolithic, single purpose DSLR type cameras. Using the iOne STKA technology, UAV end users can economically collect high-quality color or infrared NADIR, oblique, or video imagery as well as co-mount and co-register e.g., LiDAR and thermal sensors using the same system architecture.

“By providing UAV manufacturers and end-users with one reliable and performing end-to-end standard digital sensor system solution for MANY applications, we are empowering our customers with a more efficient and standard technology foundation and paradigm to grow their business, enhance their products, and maximize their return,” said Visual Intelligence President and CEO Dr. Armando Guevara.

At the core of the iOne STKA is Visual Intelligence’s Patented Advanced Retinal Camera Array (ARCA). Developed using open systems and object-oriented software engineering principles, the ARCA is “encapsulated” with a rich set of advanced proprietary software methods that integrate camera components. The ARCA enables the collection of different types of imagery, fused in one pass, producing low-cost, extremely accurate, high-resolution products. It also enables unprecedented array-based collection and functional scalability sensor fusion. The arrays made of these varied imaging devices perform like a single camera, producing one single metric, radiometrically and geometrically correct image, or set of co-registered and fused images; such as a Virtual Frame, of higher accuracy, resolution and quality than DSLR-based monolithic cameras.

Adds Guevara, “UAV manufacturers can take advantage and offer bundled with the iOne sensors Visual Intelligence’s advanced computing technology for fast cloud-based basic and advanced actionable information product generation. As a fully automated solution (from the sensor to the cloud), the iOne STKA includes processing software that uses streamlined workflows and processes imagery faster with multicore/multithreaded/GPU computing technology, making it easy to quickly produce and analyze products in a device-content eCosystem environment. This technology/business model is designed to provide UAV manufacturers and users recurrent ROI.”

UAVs built using sensors based on the iOne STKA have the following features and advantages:

  • Strong digital obsolescence resilience, extending the useable life of the system while improving operational efficiencies and reducing operating costs for an even better ROI.
  • In the field:
    • Collection scalability
    • Functional scalability
    • Sensor reconfiguration, e.g. increase collection or functionality as needed or per mission requirements.
  • Large cross-track and FOV collection through smaller aperture (ARCA enabled).
  • Ability to collect different sources of metric imagery that can be fused in one pass.
  • Sensor fusion: Ability to co-mount and co-register in a “small and tight packaging” the EO capability with any other EO or active sensor such as LiDAR, Thermal, IR, etc.

The iOne STKA software architecture is normative across all ARCA-based products; that is, the software is the same for different array configurations or sizes. This reusable component approach yields economies of scale in the manufacturing and use of multipurpose UAV/sensor configurations.