Software Co.’s augmented reality app overlays info on UAV flights

By Emily Aasand | July 21, 2015

Rapid Imaging Software Inc. has specialized in augmented reality since 1995, with its software used both in manned and unmanned ISR missions, wildlife research and airport obstacle management. The Albuquerque-based company has announced that its SmartCam3D View will bring the power and utility of augmented reality (AR) to small unmanned aircraft systems platforms.

Augmented reality enhances the real world view for users. Rapid Imaging Software applications blend 3D map data with video, which gives operators complete information from the field of operation. The company believes the future of AR will be on small UAS platforms.

“AR mapping on small drones will have a big impact on many fields in the future; law enforcement, disaster relief, emergency response, agriculture, and wildlife conservation,” the company said.

The new software allows sUAS operators to view augmented reality overlays, such as way points and geographic points of interest during a flight. The AR overlays also include parcel numbers and airspace boundaries, the company adds. Roads, points of interest, a moving map and a synthetic landscape may be blended with video in real time. The technology offers a visual obstacle avoidance display for airspace safety and enhanced mission effectiveness.

“We have made our augmented reality engine compatible with mobile computing,” said Mike Abernathy, founder and director of development. “This technology insures that the operator knows where they are looking and flying at all times.”

According to Rapid Imaging Software, its SmartCam3D has been deployed in every US Army Shadow and Gray Eagle UAS system since 2003 and every US Marine Shadow UAS system since 2007. In 2014, the US Army tasked RIS to create an integrated library version of SmartCam3D and it was successfully demonstrated in 2015.


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