LMCO Wins DARPA Contract for Video Search & Alert Tools
The proliferation of UAVs and fighters equipped with stabilized, high-magnification video pods and imaging radars has a number of corollary consequences. Bandwidth has become a key battlefield constraint. Specialized reconnaissance fighter aircraft are a dead concept. And some poor analyst has to sift through the video tsunami at the other end, in order to find items of interest.
That last item explains why Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control, Orlando, FL kicked off FY 2009 with a $5.5 million cost plus fixed fee contract to “develop and demonstrate a Video and Image Retrieval and analysis tool system for video data exploitation.” One that lets an analyst quickly find and retrieve video content of interest from archives containing thousands of hours of video data. One that also provide alerts of “events of interest” during live operations, forwarding them to an analyst’s attention. That last item is rather double-edged. If it works – which DARPA projects by their very nature cannot say with assurance – it could trigger timely, lifesaving assistance to combat missions. It could also be used for annoying, soldier-killing battlefield micromanagement. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, work will be performed in Cherry Hill, NJ; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Littleton, CO, with an estimated completion date of March 29/10. Bids were solicited via the Web, and 20 bids were received by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, VA (HR0011-09-C-0027).