Automated wide-area multispectral search sensor with adaptable AI software increases mission flexibility of the innovative optionally piloted aircraft
Overwatch Imaging, a leader in automated airborne imaging systems for piloted and unmanned aircraft, has successfully completed integration and flight testing with Firebird, Northrop Grumman’s new, optionally piloted aircraft system. The TK-9 Earthwatch is a state-of-the-art automated multispectral search, object detection and mapping payload. The TK-9 Earthwatch flew with Firebird on a series of flights with a live demonstration of airborne sensor data streamed in near-real-time to Firebird stakeholders across the United States.
The TK-9 Earthwatch has a flexible onboard AI-enabled automatic image processing engine that allows the system to adapt to new roles in new environments very quickly, from natural disaster emergency management to border security patrol to large-scale infrastructure inspection.
“Firebird’s unique open mission architecture allows sensors to be changed rapidly as plug-and-play devices, reducing first-time payload integration and enabling rapid field changes to increase operational availability,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. “As we proved with Overwatch Imaging’s TK-9 Earthwatch sensor, Firebird’s payload flexibility can enhance many commercial and government customer real-time intelligence operations.”
“Firebird is an incredibly flexible and capable multi-mission aircraft, and we are honored to be part of the Northrop Grumman Firebird ecosystem,” said Greg Davis, founder and CEO of Overwatch Imaging. Overwatch Imaging systems are already being used around the world for a variety of demanding large-scale, time-critical applications including mapping wildfires, searching for small boats at sea, monitoring infrastructure for changes, and protecting endangered animals. In addition to providing immediately actionable intelligence, the company’s imaging systems create long-lasting data products to monitor changes over time. “Combining the long endurance and operational efficiency of Firebird with our real-time object detection and automated change detection software brings a powerful capability for operators to monitor vast areas more effectively than ever before,” said Davis.
About Overwatch Imaging
Overwatch Imaging designs and manufactures imaging systems with custom onboard AI software for both piloted and unmanned aircraft. The precision imaging systems help organizations quickly find what they are looking for from the air, so they can focus less on the search and more on the best response. Specific uses of Overwatch Imaging systems include automated land surveillance, maritime patrol and search, and linear infrastructure inspection. Overwatch Imaging was founded in 2016 by UAS and airborne imaging experts and is based in Hood River, Oregon.
For more information, go to www.overwatchimaging.com