• Land detections using ViDAR.
Credit: Sentient
    Land detections using ViDAR. Credit: Sentient

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has successfully completed flight trials of the artificial intelligence (AI) enabled Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) sensor solution produced by Sentient Vision Systems (Sentient), including a demonstration of a range of detections at high operating altitudes of 30,000 feet.

The mission objectives set by the ADF focused on providing effective methods to detect, locate and track small objects in complex environments.

According to Sentient, ViDAR’s deep learning and computer vision solution provides faster processing and more accurate detections, enabling detection of critical elements for situational awareness on the battlefield.

Missions included wide area reconnaissance, where Sentient scanned 2000 square kilometres per hour while detecting objects of interest including people, vehicles and vessels, a rate 30 times faster than a HD turret.

The development of this technology is timely as the United States, United Kingdom and Australia deepen ties through the AUKUS trilateral agreement, with Pillar II focusing on the AI workstream.

“The capability sets demonstrated not only met, and in many cases exceeded the mission objectives, but also importantly provided a road map for US and allied forces deployment of advanced, low signature sensor solutions with onboard processing," said Callum McGregor, Chief Technology Officer of Sentient.

"Clearly the modularity and interoperability of Sentient’s technologies for AUKUS Pillar II sets the scene for a raft of integration on crewed and uncrewed airborne platforms.”

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