The use of heavy vehicles in urban warfare, counter-terror missions and rescue operations is increasing, due to the nature of the threats encountered in modern battlefields. One of the main weaknesses of these vehicles has to do with the high level of exposure of the soldiers driving the vehicles. A new system developed by a small Israeli company, called ODF Optronics, enables combatants to avoid this vulnerability. Since the Omni-Directional Reconnaissancefor Heavy Vehicles (ODR HV) central pole is mounted on top of the vehicle, no physical exposure of the fighters inside the vehicle is necessary. All the information regarding the potential threats is retrieved using a laptop within the vehicle making it much safer than a traditional scan.
The central pole contains five cameras capable of zooming in on specific areas, providing soldiers inside the vehicle with a full view of the outside action. The system also includes a single high-resolution camera with the capability to pan, tilt & zoom (PTZ), enabling thorough investigation of suspected threats. An optional addition is an infra-red (IR) camera with night vision capabilities. The system’s image analysis software can synthesize the video images from all the cameras into one comprehensible panoramic view, and the display has traditional clock view (marked 1 to 12) in order to keep the operator oriented.
The ODR HV is designed to be durable: it is built to sustain driving on rough terrain and in bad weather. Moreover, it can be installed on various platforms and can be integrated into several battle-management units. The option of saving images exists for record and archive purposes. Furthermore, the system can be adjusted to suit the specific needs of each one of its users, whether it is the commander, the driver, or other personnel in the vehicle.
ODR’s VMD feature allows the user to extend the system’s surveillance capabilities. The user can establish a ‘Region of Interest’ in which potential threats (indicated by motion) trigger alerts. This feature enhances the team’s ability to respond to threats coming from different directions.
TFOT recently covered several other defense related technologies, including the MAARS armed robot, the ViPER unmanned ground vehicle, and the Boeing test of the Avenger solid state laser weapon.
More information on the ODR can be found on ODF Optronics’ press release.