The Problem Statement
It is extremely difficult for a pilot on a critical mission to perform detailed inspection of the panoramic frames (provided by Imaging sensors like FLIR-Forward Looking Infrared) being displayed on a cockpit’s multi-function display. In order to expedite the target localization process and give actionable feedback to the pilots, the client approached KritiKal Solutions to develop a system like ATR based on FLIR imagery. The goal of this project was to improve the mission experience for the fighter pilots by reducing the mission time as well as the security risks.
An ATR system using FLIR imagery (FLIR is an infra-red analogue of a visible TV camera that helps the onboard pilot see in the dark by imaging the natural radiation emitted by all material bodies) brings with it certain complications- it can overlook valid targets or it can detect false targets, if the decision thresholds are too simple. Keeping this in mind, KritiKal Solutions devised an ingenious system that detects tanks with high probability of detection and low false alarm rate. One of the major challenges was to cater to the moving platform (fighter planes) and moving targets (tanks) simultaneously. This was achieved through ego-motion compensation techniques along with target detection and tracking algorithms.
Another important task was to perform detailed modeling and analysis of the background scene for various types of backgrounds and atmospheric conditions. Our computer vision experts with their strong technical knowledge and industry-wide experience, overcame all the challenges & proposed a camera-based solution using advanced Image Processing techniques (morphological operator, wavelet transform and thresholding) and Pattern Recognition algorithms for target detection and recognition.
KritiKal delivered a high-profile automated solution that considerably reduces the task load of the onboard pilot. This unique ATR System performs equally well in day and night time and detects the presence of a tank even if it is camouflaged or obscured. The system can detect the presence of a target even from a 10-20 Km range and is also extremely adept at detecting thermal scene variations that happen due to variation in backgrounds and scene objects. Our ATR system mitigates security risks and saves on critical mission time.