Following the triumphant development of DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) daytime persistent surveillance system, BAE Systems has been granted a $49.9 million contract, to craft and develop the ARGUS-IR (Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance – Infrared).
The ARGUS-IR is to deliver high-clarity and real-time nighttime video surveillance operations for U.S. military, to help in tracing, tracking and supervising proceedings, in urban locations and also in combat zones. This system is compatible with several different unmanned aerial systems. BAE systems’ Electronic Solutions Sector, based in Nashua, will take care of the designing, crafting manufacturing and assessing the ARGUS-IR’s APS (Airborne Processing Subsystem). Furthermore, it will also incorporate an infrared sensor subsystem during an eight-phase project over 32 months.
According to Dr. John Antoniades, Director of ISR technology, and ARGUS program manager for BAE, this system, by providing 24X7 surveillance and reconnaissance over a larger area than before, is enhancing the military capacities. The new APS, with its extended capability, can be used for several platforms. It will analyze and stockpile the imagery, supplied by the infrared sensor, and transmit a minimal 256 independent video streams over a 200 Mbits/sec rate data link. The video windows could either be tracking or fixed video window, as per DARPA’s stipulations. Furthermore, the APS would be able to transmit the identified target metadata in motion, and image chips. The system’s first test-flight would be in the year 2012.
ARGUS-IS forerunner to ARGUS-IR, had been tested for the first time, last year onboard a Black Hawk helicopter belonging to the U.S. Army, demonstrating the multiple video window system, for continual area surveillance and also tracking processes, for both soldiers on foot and vehicles.