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Thales rolls out new PLI navigation system

A prototype InterSense IS-1500 Scorpion HMD shown at AUSA 22. The InertiaCam is the labelled device mounted above the monocular display. (Giles Ebbutt)

Thales Visionix, part of Thales Defense & Security Inc, is developing a position location information (PLI) navigation system for dismounted users in Global Positioning System (GPS)-denied or degraded environments, and demonstrated its progress at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 annual convention in Washington, DC, in October.

When fully developed the new system, called the InterSense IS-1500, will also be used to upgrade the Scorpion augmented reality (AR) pilot's head-mounted display (HMD), Richard Madison, research and development (R&D) manager, motion tracking, for Thales Visionix, told Janes.

The Scorpion HMD is in use with the US Air Force, Air National Guard, and army on different fixed- and rotary-wing platforms.

The new system consists of a combined visual-inertial sensor called InertiaCam that contains an electro-optic camera integrated with accelerometers and gyroscopes. The sensor collects video and inertial data, which is passed to a wearable computer that tracks natural features in the video, and fuses it with the inertial data to calculate the sensor head's position and orientation when GPS data is unavailable.

The computer outputs position information as Cursor on Target (CoT) messages, which can be displayed on Android Tactical Awareness Kit (ATAK) devices and shared on a tactical network. ATAK is increasingly becoming the software of choice for dismounted situational awareness (SA) displays.

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