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Sentient to provide sensors for Shield AI's V-BAT UAVs

Under a recently announced agreement, Australian company Sentient will provide its Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) system for Shield AI's V-BAT unmanned aerial vehicle (pictured) to enhance the surveillance capabilities of the platform. (Shield AI)

Australia's Sentient Vision Systems has signed an agreement with US-based Shield AI to provide its wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) system for the latter's V-BAT unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Under the agreement, Sentient will supply its Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) system, which will work along with Shield AI's Hivemind artificial intelligence (AI) software to enhance the V-BAT's capabilities to “intelligently classify, track, and read-and-react to targets in dynamic missions”, the companies said in a media release on 23 October.

“The supply contract [secured by Sentient] is a multi-year, multi-units' agreement, with first deliveries planned for 2024,” Sentient's CEO, Mark Palmer, said.

Sentient's ViDAR uses an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor to detect and classify small targets – invisible to a human operator or to a conventional radar – from an imagery stream, the company said.

The ViDAR system installed on UAVs utilises ultra-high definition video to scan the area surrounding an aircraft. Any data captured is automatically extracted and transferred to a mapping system, where coordinates and a thumbnail image of the detected object is displayed to the operator, Sentient added.

According to company specifications, the ViDAR system integrated on UAVs has a search swath of 37 km, and can cover around 24,742 km in 12 hours if an UAV flies at a speed of around 111 km/h.

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