1. Visual Intelligence Company Overview
Founded in 1997, Visual Intelligence LP (VI) has developed three generations of mapping and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) imaging sensor systems. VI is based in Houston, Texas, and employs a formidable technical team comprised of digital sensor specialists, software and system engineers, and certified photogrammetrists (CP), all of whom are uniquely qualified and understand the growing needs and requirements of the advanced sensor technology community.
In the earlier years of the company, VI developed a digital collection system and utilized that system to execute aerial collection projects as a service-based company. In 2007, VI transitioned into a product-based company to provide discriminating and next generation digital collection systems to the marketplace. The years of project experience provide an invaluable base of corporate knowledge that is sensitive to the integration issues of utilizing multiple camera systems and supportive technologies in the development of fully integrated image acquisition and production systems.
In the last four years, VI has focused its research and development (R&D) resources to develop a multipurpose, digital airborne sensor family with ultra-high collection capacities based on an open system architecture design. The sensor product line is called the iOne, and in 2009 it was certified by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The multi-year R&D effort has yielded various granted patents, two of the most relevant being the Arched Retinal Camera Array, or ARCA, system and the Co-mounting/Co-registration, or CoCo. These patents collectively provide the architecture platform that supports multi-sensor fusion and virtual frame image generation derived from multiple camera modules and lenses. This sensor tool kit architecture, comprised of modular and scalable software and hardware, is the iOne STKA.
2. Technology Overview – breakthrough sensor architectural innovation
VI develops and produces the iOne line of commercial sensor products for distribution in domestic and international markets (below). Among the leading sensor manufactures in the industry, the iOne sensor family yields the highest ortho collection capacity at the highest resolution. The sensors are all solid state (no moving parts), scalable for unlimited collection scenarios, and are proudly made in the United States. VI has also developed an accompanying suite of software that is fully ortho automated using direct positioning.
At the heart of the iOne system is the iOne Sensor Tool Kit Architecture, or STKA, and its core component the ARCA (ARCA based military sensor configurations for large area collection have been independently developed and used by Angel Fire www.eglin.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123132586 and the Russian KSI airborne digital cameras that use multiple CCD area arrays and multiple lenses, including an interlaced pattern similar to the iOne Hi-5).
iOne Ortho/MS 19 kps
A highly agile and robust system for ortho wide area collection.
Multipurpose reconfigurable: ‘Stereo/3D – Ortho – Oblique’
iOne Stereo with B/H .6
Based on B/H .6, only sensor in the industry with engineering quality imagery equivalent or superior to film.
iOne Infrastructure Mapping System (IMS)
A powerful, very light and compact sensor that provides ortho, multi-spectral, backward and forward oblique, all in one pass.
Isis Earth Software
Post processing software that is integrated with iOne sensors used to generate accurate ortho images.
Isis Sky Software
Near real-time onboard (in-flight) ortho processing software that is integrated with iOne sensors.
2.1 iOne Sensor Tool Kit Architecture
iOne stands for integrated into One: VI has developed a primarily software based architecture that leverages the ARCA to optimize payload size, weight, and aperture for metric geoimaging. The iOne STKA is a modular and scalable hardware/software foundation that is designed to deploy any type of electro-optical sensor, and, if required, co-mount and co-register (CoCo) with any other passive or active sensors in a very tightly coupled, geo-referenced system using all commercial off-the-shelf components for optics and imaging electronics. The iOne STKA allows rapid deployment of robust and reliable multi-purpose sensor configurations on fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, terrestrial devices, and other miniaturized mobile applications.
The iOne STKA is backed by numerous patents and intellectual property methods, procedures, and software that has resulted in a very powerful and scalable sensor foundation. Methods and procedures include robust geometric and radiometric calibration, very large virtual frame generation that is ingestible by any traditional photogrammetric workflow (the ARCA array set behaves like one single metric camera), and ortho direct positioning onboard processing software that is the platform for event driven report generation.
Currently, VI is leveraging its iOne STKA to bring on-demand sensor capabilities to better meet current and future mission needs for wide area surveillance, multi-sensor intelligence, and high metric accuracy. With iOne modularity, almost any sensor configuration is supported including light-weight and scalable configurations for large, medium, and light unmanned aerial systems. Additionally, specialty sensor configurations using the same tool kit are available; for example, the ability to support persistent surveillance systems designed for long endurance vehicles or static mount (pole or structure).
Together with its innovative modular hardware, VI also provides a digital zoom capability that produces high-resolution images thereby combining wide area surveillance and high resolution imaging capabilities in the same platform. Referred to as Cascading Super Resolution, or CSR, this digital technique augments the iOne camera systems and has the potential to deliver breakthrough capabilities and revolutionize the performance of many ISR missions with lower cost and superior sensor agility.
The CSR software technology enables ISR missions to capture extremely high zoom across the entire field-of-view, without reducing the field-of-view, and in a manner superior to optical zoom. The field-of-view can approach 180 X 180 degrees and is performed using fixed focal
length lenses and no moving parts. The applicability is far reaching and includes multiple applications utilizing numerous platforms. Some of the mission modes supported by our integrated modular cameras, digital zoom, and high metric accuracy sensor systems include:
- Multi-band spectral imaging
- High accuracy stereo-derived elevation models
- Day/Night imaging
- Ability to overlay and register new imagery onto a high-accuracy NGA map base
- Integrated full motion video, persistent surveillance, and high NIIRS performance in a single platform
- Sensor can scale for very lightweight configurations suitable for small UAV’s
The market potential for iOne STKA derivative and follow-on products is obviously substantial. Not only is VI continuing to enhance and improve its existing line of commercial sensors using iOne STKA technologies, it is also working and establishing partnerships in the MILGOV sector to exploit its capabilities in support of domestic and international surveillance requirements. Once the CSR and other concepts are completely validated, VI expects to move very quickly to offer a family of robust, wide area surveillance products appropriate for this sector.
The current and evolving set of VI patents serves as the Intellectual Property utilized to develop the iOne family of sensor systems.
U.S. Patent # 7,127,348 System
Vehicle mounting of a camera system, IMU, computer, and a GPS all interconnected and integrated to operate as a system.
U.S. Patent # 7,893,957 ARCA
Apparatus and methods whereby two or more camera modules are in a cross-eyed configuration to optimize cross track collection.
U.S. Patent # 7,725,258 CoCo
Apparatus and methods for co-mounting and co-registering two or more sensors.
U.S. Patent # 7,212,938 Calibration
A method of using a self-locking travel pattern to achieve in-travel calibration of remote sensors.
U.S. Patent # 6,928,194 Isis Earth and Isis Sky
System for mosaicing digital ortho-images having at least three imaging sensors.
U.S. Patent # 7,630,579 Isis Earth and Isis Sky
System for mosaicing digital ortho-images.
U.S. Patent # 8,471,907 Method of producing a remote imaging array
A first imaging sensor, having a focal axis, is coupled to a housing, having a curvilinear array axis, along the curvilinear array axis. A second imaging sensor, having a focal axis, is coupled to the housing along the curvilinear array axis adjacent to the first imaging sensor, such that the focal axes of the first and second imaging sensors intersect one another at an intersection area. A third imaging sensor, having a focal axis, is coupled to the housing along a curvilinear array axis adjacent to the first imaging sensor, opposite the second imaging sensor, such that the focal axes of the first and third imaging sensors intersect one another at the intersection area. The second and third imaging sensors’ fields of view are aligned with target areas opposite their respective positions in the housing.
U.S. Patent # 8,483,960 Self-calibrated, remote imaging and data processing system
Self-calibrated, remote imaging and data processing system
U.S. Patent # 8,334,903 Retinal array compound camera system having at least three imaging sensors
The present invention provides a camera system having a compound array of imaging sensors disposed in a retinal configuration.
The scalability of the sensor is based on the ARCA and can be configured to collect ortho, stereo, and oblique imagery. The CoCo patent provides the capability to fuse other sensor data such as LiDAR, thermal, and multi- and hyper-spectral.
1. With the iOne STKA Visual Intelligence has created a robust and solid software and hardware Lego-like foundation to design and deploy any type of EO sensor, and if required, fused (“CoCo” – co mounted and co registered) with any other passive or active sensor type in the most effective and efficient manner, e.g. LiDAR, thermal, video, UV. The iOne STKA is backed by numerous patents and IP (methods, procedures and software) that yield a very powerful plug-and play sensor foundation. Methods and procedures include but are not limited to robust geometric and radiometric calibration; very large virtual frame generation that is ingestible by any traditional photogrammetric workflow (the ARCA array set behaves like one single camera); ortho direct positioning onboard processing software that is the platform for event driven report generation, and more.
2. Based on the iOne STKA, VI has brought to market a line of commercial products, several now sold in the US and overseas- hence field/project proven along with being USGS Sensor Type Certified (robust). The iOne modular and scalable sensor family yields the highest collection capacity in the industry at the highest resolution; with no moving parts (our systems are all solid state); collection and functionally scalable and made in the United States. The sensor includes the software at no extra cost (fully ortho automated using direct positioning). Delivery time for any of these sensor is guaranteed at 4 months from point of order:
- iOne Ortho/MS 19 kps – a “pixel vacuum cleaner” for ortho wide area collection.
- iOne Stereo with B/H .6 – only sensor in the industry with engineering quality imagery equivalent or superior to film (based swath at 12 kps and upward scalable).
- iOne Infrastructure Mapping System (iOne IMS) – a powerful, very light and compact sensor that provides ortho, multispectral, backward and forward oblique, all in one pass (helicopter and fix wing mountable; interior or pod-based).
- Sensors-made-to-order – based on the iOne STKA, custom built sensors and CoCo sensor integration (delivery time will depend on sensor specification requirements).
3. Visual Intelligence provides the best performing, most economical metric geoimaging sensor technology in the industry – apples to apples, our speed of deployment is the fastest with our cost of operation and ownership being the lowest.