News3 November 2022

FALCONA & AQUILA: two gamechangers on the battleground

Whether it’s blinding sunshine, clouds, fog, snow, situations with too little light, or no light […]

Whether it’s blinding sunshine, clouds, fog, snow, situations with too little light, or no light at all, heavy rain or a smoke screen raised by the enemy that lies in the way, navigating a battleground can be difficult and dangerous. Having unobstructed sight is the key to keeping an army team safe and making combat more efficient. Nedinsco developed a series of customizable, real time, 360° awareness systems that are tailored to the exact needs of any armored vehicle. The new FALCONA and AQUILA systems increase crew and combat safety by detecting outside threats and by making it easier to maneuver in complex situations.

No matter the distance, your crew has an unobstructed view in even the most challenging circumstances, thanks to modular optical sensors operating in different spectral ranges, such as low-light CMOS (daylight), Short Wave Infra Red (SWIR) and Long Wave Infra Red (LWIR). Their names, inspired by birds of prey, match their value proposition: a sharp, hawk eye view in any tense situation.

By mounting multiple rugged cameras on the vehicle with overlapping fields of view and using advanced imaging and software, our advanced systems are able to create a 360° image that gives your staff the agile scope that they need. Our solutions allow your crew to have a real time and seamless 360° overview and to switch between bird view, rear, left, right and front views.

FALCONA: making driving an armored vehicle easier

The Close Range Awareness System (CRAS) FALCONA visualizes the immediate vicinity of the vehicle. The images that the four cameras produce are connected rimarily via the Battle Management System. This enables the driver to look around the vehicle in 360° and thus maneuver around the terrain in a safe manner, without crashing into obstacles.

AQUILA: allowing fast identification of distant threats

Unlike the FALCONA, the AQUILA, being a Local Situational Awareness System (LSAS), focuses on short to medium distances. At least six cameras are used, which are mounted at different positions on the vehicle, usually corners. The primary purpose of this system is to visualize the environment around the vehicle and help the crew detect potential hazards from a distance. This leaves more time for the team to prepare and take appropriate action.

State of the art video processing

Seamlessly connecting the input from different cameras to shape a 360° environment forms the backbone of both systems. Besides, the delay (or latency) caused by the processing of the raw images was brought to a minimum, making it a truly stunning piece of engineering. A personal, real-time video stream on every display in the vehicle facilitates fluent communication and affords efficiency within the team. It enables the team to react more quickly to dangerous situations.

The extraordinary quality of the sensors and lenses used, the powerful state of the art Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) and the sensational video editing software together form a rare combination of functionalities. Nedinsco’s FALCONA and AQUILA are therefore unique in the market.

The future is near: AI integration for enhanced detection

The development of our 360° systems continues, even after the introduction of the FALCONA, FALCONETTE and the AQUILA. A promising functionality that is being worked on behind the scenes is the addition of AI technology with which the images made by the cameras can be analyzed and interpreted in real time.

With a powerful GPU on board, it is possible to use machine learning to train an algorithm that can identify and track objects from great distances and can give advice on what to do next. This makes it possible to make faster decisions in combat and to be better prepared for possible dangers from outside. This way, Nedinsco will continue to make a difference in the future, in order to make the work of those who protect us safer.

FALCONETTE: application in non-military situations

The FALCONA and AQUILA systems meet strict requirements in terms of robustness, watertightness and shock resistance in order to be permitted for use on the battleground. The great thing about military innovations is that simplified derivatives can often be applied to situations that are closer to everyday life.

For example, the Dutch mobile police unit would definitely benefit from using a derivative of the FALCONA system, the FALCONETTE. Using this system, their teams can keep track of what happens outside of their police vans and can therefore guarantee the safety of their personnel inside. The images created with the 360° system can also be used to track down violent offenders and thus ultimately provide a safer environment for citizens as well.