Video switching has been commonplace since cameras were first installed on military vehicles. So what’s new with “smart video switching”?
Smart video switching lets system designers, and more importantly a vehicle crew, leverage the benefits of networked video. The underlying architectural structure in vehicle electronics (vetronics) systems is evolving from a standalone point-to-point system to a networked approach. Traditional military imaging systems typically rely on a hardwired connection between a camera and a standard video switcher that then routes the feed to processing or display systems. This centralized approach isolates video to within the vehicle, makes it difficult to interface equipment in multi-vendor designs, and limits scalability.
Designers are now seeking more efficient ways to network devices across a unified, managed, and secure network. NGVA, GVA and VICTORY standards outline Ethernet as the protocol of choice for this service-oriented networked architecture to leverage multicasting, cabling, and cost benefits. Read more about Ethernet and military standards in this whitepaper.
A distributed Ethernet approach lets designers benefit from a scalable, customizable architecture. This could mean starting with a basic system networking cameras to displays. Based on the same architecture, designers can evolve to a fully redundant multi-camera, multi-sensor system integrating recording and dismounted soldier and command center communications.
With this underlying architecture, “smart video switching” helps a vehicle crew be more aware of their surroundings. In a local situational awareness application, the smart video switcher utilizes powerful GPU resources of the NVIDIA Jetson TX2i to stitch together images from multiple cameras to provide a driver with a complete 360° view on a single display. If a camera goes down, automatic failover seamlessly switches to an alternate video source. With all devices connected to a common infrastructure, other crew members can also access the video without software or cabling changes.
“Smart video switching” lets a vehicle crew know immediately if something has changed in their environment. Integrating powerful processing capabilities, the smart device also supports the introduction of machine-learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to further reduce cognitive burden.