Tech & Kit

Thermal Imagers to Improve Visibility on Special Operations Vehicles

AUSTIN, Texas — BAE Systems will equip special operations forces vehicles with thermal imaging systems that enhance forward and rearward visibility. The technology systems will fuse visible-light and infrared imagery to provide the vehicle driver the best possible view in daylight, darkness and all weather conditions.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center awarded the company a $50 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for the Driver’s Ground Mobility Visual Augmentation System (DR-GMVAS). The system will enable special operations forces operators to navigate vehicles; conduct surveillance; and detect, identify, and track threats in all weather conditions.

“Combining inputs from multiple sensors into a single fused image will give vehicle occupants unprecedented ability to observe their surroundings in poor weather and in darkness,” said David Rohde, DR-GMVAS program manager at BAE Systems in Austin, Texas. “It will give special operations forces an important advantage in the global war on terrorism.”

The system, to be deployed on ground platforms, will combine inputs from two imagery sources — visible and near-infrared and long-wave infrared — into a single image displayed inside the vehicle. In urban warfare, it will enable drivers to maneuver without interruption when moving quickly from bright sunshine to darkness.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in fall 2008 and conclude in 2013.

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