The mission of the Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance – Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) program is to provide military users a flexible and responsive capability to find, track and monitor events and activities of interest on a continuous basis in areas of interest.
The overall objective is to increase situational awareness and understanding enabling an ability to find and fix critical events in a large area in enough time to influence events. ARGUS – IS provides military users an “eyes-on” persistent wide area surveillance capability to support tactical users in a dynamic battlespace or urban environment.
The technical emphasis of the program is on the development of the three subsystems; a 1.8 Gigapixels video sensor, an airborne processing subsystem, and a ground
processing subsystem; that will be integrated together to from ARGUS-IS. The 1.8 Gigapixel video sensor produces more than 27 Gigapixels per second running at a frame rate of 15 Hz. The airborne processing subsystem is modular and scalable providing more than 10 TeraOPS of processing. The Gigapixel sensor subsystem and airborne processing subsystem will be integrated into the A-160 Hummingbird, an unmanned air vehicle for flight testing and demonstrations. The ground processing subsystem will record and display information down linked from the airborne subsystem. The first application that will be embedded into the airborne processing subsystem is a video window capability. In this application, users from the ground will be able to select a minimum of 65 independent video windows throughout the field of view. The video windows running at the sensor frame rates will be down linked to the ground in real-time. Video windows can be utilized to automatically track multiple targets as well a providing improved situational awareness. A second application is to provide a real-time moving target indicator for vehicles throughout the entire field of view in real-time.
The first test flight using a UH-60 Black Hawk was declared a success by BAE in February 2010. The Boeing A160 Hummingbird will also eventually be used as a platform for the airborne video sensor and processor.