UAV helicopters to help curb piracy on the high seas

first_imgWhile Hollywood churns our movies depicting pirates as likeable characters, the real-life scallywags are continuing to make serious trouble on the shipping lanes near the Middle East. With the condition worsening in impoverished countries like Somalia, the rate of piracy occurrence has skyrocketed. Hoping to curtail these bold buccaneers, the US Navy is equipping several “Fire-Scout” UAV helicopters with some high-tech gadgets to provide enhanced intel.With a surveillance suite comprised of Multi-Mode Sensor Seekers, HD cameras and a snazzy new laser radar (LADAR) sytem, the Navy is able to capture 3D-images of seagoing vessels that might be engaged in less than honest activities. The high resolutions this technology offers will help intelligence analysts to sift through information much quicker than with ordinary radar tech.Imagine scanning a large part of the ocean looking for a single boat. This is a literal representation of the proverbial “needle in a haystack” as the world’s oceans are immense. Using traditional technology, analysts get hours of streaming video that is low quality. Trying to discern boats through all that “noise” can be a daunting task. With LADAR equipped UAV’s, the information sent back is sharp and defined like the image in the bottom right-hand corner of the four pictured above. Each pixel sent back corresponds to a 3D point in the space being scanned, which helps to better define an object within the environment, meaning things are much clearer and you get fewer false positives.This will give the Navy a whole new toolset when it comes to preventing acts of piracy and hopefully help to save lives on both sides. Right now the systems are still in heavy testing, but if all goes well it won’t be long before the surveillance packages are brought into service.Read more at Daily Techlast_img read more