Sentient Vision Systems and Airborne Technologies GmbH to produce ViDAR SCAR-Pods

Published on: August 2021

Australian company Sentient Vision Systems and Austrian company Airborne Technologies GmbH are designing and building new search and surveillance pods to carry Sentient’s ViDAR optical radar.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a member of the Airborne Technologies’ SCAR-Pod family for day and night operations that can be fitted to both Leonardo AW-139 and AW-189 helicopters and the Viking Guardian 400 fixed-wing aircraft. These are among the most capable and widely used maritime surveillance and Search and Rescue (SAR) platforms in the world.

“Sentient and Airborne Technologies have had a long productive relationship providing airborne surveillance solutions,” says Sentient Vision Systems’ founder and Managing Director, Dr Paul Boxer. “We are very pleased to be working with Airborne Technologies on this compelling ViDAR development. This collaboration will provide a fully certified, integrated Optical Radar capability for maritime search and surveillance operations throughout the world.”

Wolfgang Grumeth, CEO of Airborne Technologies, says: “A fixed installation of the ViDAR system is already flying on the Viking Twin Otter ISR demonstrator. This technology is a “must-have” for state-of-the-art SAR operations. Therefore, we are keen to offer the ViDAR system also as a flexible solution as part of our SCAR-Pod family, providing additional surveillance capabilities for existing rotary and fixed wing fleets, without extensive modification effort.”

Sentient Vision Systems and Airborne Technologies offer this new day/night search and surveillance solution to both existing and new government and non-government customers across the globe. The ViDAR SCAR-Pods will be available for customer delivery later this year.

According to market research company MarketsandMarkets™, demand for airborne ISR capabilities could reach US$12.8 billion by 2026, led by the border and maritime patrol sectors and the rise in use of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), or ‘drones’.*

Melbourne-based Sentient is a leader in automated detection software for optical EO/IR sensors with over 3,000 systems in service around the world. Its software-based ViDAR (Visual Detection And Ranging) system has already been proven in service in maritime surveillance and SAR roles. It enables operators to cover a search area up to 300 times greater than an aircraft or UAV without ViDAR. The new ViDAR SCAR-Pods are based on the Sentient model announced earlier this year.

The ViDAR Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Vision software scans the 180 degree electro optic and/or infra-red sensor’s imagery feed to detect targets invisible to a human operator. It then places a thumbnail image on the operator’s screen showing the bearing and range of the target, allowing for an automated cross-cue by the inspection turret. When searching for a person in the water, ViDAR is 100 times faster than traditional search techniques meaning more lives saved and lower mission costs.

Wiener-Neustadt-based Airborne Technologies is a leader in the delivery of innovative and flexible airborne solutions. An existing partner of Sentient Vision Systems, it offers services ranging from the integration of any airborne remote sensors up to the development of customized ISR Turnkey Solutions for fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

Airborne Technologies engineers the ViDAR SCAR-Pod design and its universal mount system to allow multiple airframe fitments. The pods will be certified to EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) standards and provided with a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the target platforms as well as being DO-160 compliant.

The pods will carry the full ViDAR suite of ultra-high resolution electro optic and infra-red cameras as well as image processing hardware, providing a fully integrated system. The ViDAR SCAR-Pod is easily installed to the airframe, providing a highly efficient autonomous search capability that is able to detect targets that radars cannot find.

Airborne Technologies uses its engineering and testing capability to conduct integration trials and together with Sentient will demonstrate the system to potential customers. Sentient Vision Systems’ own Field Integration Teams will continue to help customers with ViDAR SCAR-Pod integration and operator training.



For further information:

Mr Ryan Ilahi

Marketing Manager

Sentient Vision Systems

Tel: (+61) 0450 457 729