ERS - Enhanced Reality System

Enhanced reality system with an onboard digital video recorder and video switching unit.

The Enhanced Reality System provides state-of-the-art features to improve mission operations. The system combines all major functions required for camera operations in one box and offers a very powerful mission system for any airborne sensing platform. The ERS processes up to 4 video streams, generates vector overlays and offers recording and communication features.

The ERS is developed according to RTCA DO-178B Level D, DO-254 Level D and qualified to DO-160F.

 

Four functions - One compact unit!

Enhanced Reality
The ability to overlay vector data layers on a real-time camera feed and to overlay a real-time camera feed on a synthetic imagery background.
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Video Processing & Distribution
The system connects multiple video sources and distributes them up to 4 video targets in the desired video standard, resolution and aspect ratio. Video modes like Picture in Picture (PiP), Picture by Picture (PbP) and quad view are available.
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Video & Audio Recording
The ability to connect up to 4 Full HD video and 2 audio channels, included timeshift function (replaying while recording). Obviously the video recordings can also be exported for post flight analysis and debriefing.
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Mission Management
ERS also offers important and helpful mission tools for your camera operations.
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Functional details

Vector data on camera feed
The ERS overlays vector data on real-time camera feeds. The source of the vector data is

  • the ERS internal database, such as streets, house numbers, parcel information, railroads, point of interests, obstacles and user points (like mission targets or marker).
  • Sensor information, such as Direction Finder, AIS, Radar targets, etc. coming from the EuroNav 7.

Process flow of ERS

 

The most obvious solution is the overlay of streets, street names, points of interest and house numbers on the EOS camera feed in an urban area operations, e.g. for Law Enforcement or Surveillance purposes. Another example could be the overlay of AIS information (e.g. ship name & class) on a FLIR camera feed in the frame of SAR or Maritime Patrol operations. In this case the AIS information will be provided to the ERS via the link to the EuroNav 7 system.

 
 

Live camera feed on ERS Virtual View
A second interesting capability of the ERS is to be able to use a real-time camera feed to overlay on "Virtual View", a 3D synthetic image rendered inside the ERS.

 

With the EUROAVIONICS 3D engine on board, the ERS is able to represent all map and database data in a three-dimensional perspective. The relevant information that is superimposed on the normal top-down 2D imagery is also available in the 3D image. This “Virtual View” of the environment around the aircraft is yet another unprecedented level of Situational Awareness that EUROAVIONICS is able to offer to its operators.

 

This way the ERS is truly revealing its enhanced reality capability. Enhancing the Virtual View, based on internal ERS maps and databases, with real-time daylight, low light or IR imagery. The latter can be made transparent in multiple steps for optimal readability.

Video Processing & Distribution
The ERS processes a multitude of internal and external video sources and can output up to 4 independent video channels. In between, the ERS Video Switching Matrix, Video Processing engines and Multiplexers tailor and combine the video inputs and routes the imagery to the right operator displays. Each video source image can be scaled, cropped, rotated and interlaced to match a specific video output resolution, orientation, aspect ratio and/or video standard. The four, full HD (1080p), video channels and two audio channels, enable over 100 hours of recording capability. This can be used for post mission, review, analysis or training as well as data archiving.

 

ERS Video Configurations
The ERS video engines or a combination of them, allow to present the selected external video sources and the ERS overlay or a DVR channel replay in the following configurations:

 

Full-Screen Landscape

Quad-Screen Landscape

Picture-in-Picture Landscape
 


Full-Screen Portrait

Dual-Split Portrait

Dual-Split Landscape
 

Video Recording
ERS records any external video source in H264/MPEG-4 encoded format. Through the ERS On Screen Display HMI each of the DVR channels can be controlled for Start, Stop, Play, Rewind, Forward. Additionally one of the channels can be routed to a USB receptacle in the aircraft so it can be saved directly on a USB device during operation. This allows instantaneous plug-out after the mission.

Audio Recording
On top of the video recording, the ERS also allows to record 2 independent (mono) audio channels. If an audio channel is linked to a video channel it is controlled in sync with the video channel. The audio channels can be switched on/off (mute function) during operation.

Time Shift Function
The ERS video recorder comes with an integrated time shift function. On demand, the time shift function allows the operator to go back to already recorded footage while the recording is still in progress. This makes it possible to set a marker etc. in already recorded video footage without stopping the recording.

All video and audio recordings can be exported from the ERS system through the standard data exchange channels. This for on-ground replay and analysis, evidence in court, training or archiving.

Important features at a glance
  • Video and audio recording in Full HD (1080p)
  • 4 video and 2 audio channels
  • Recording on Solid-State-Drive (SSD) and USB
  • More than 100 hours of 1080p recording (SSD)
  • Time Shift Function
  • Control via ERS HMI and ERS control device


Solid-State-Drive (512GB)

Save on USB device during operation

MTI - Moving Target Indication (optional module)

The Moving Target Indication is based on proven picture recognition technology and helps to detect small and large moving objects automatically on the ground or on ocean surface. Each moving target is uniquely identified by an ID and can be highlighted with colors. The MTI functionality of the ERS is offered as an additional software module. Available as Land Module and Maritime Module.

Land MTI
The MTI records the movements of objects in the image area and visibly traces each one.

Maritime MTI

Optimized for maritime surveillance missions (i.e. maritime SAR), the MTI detects objects such as life jackets and persons overboard.

 
Marker

A marker identifies a position at a specified time. The ERS shows different marker types with different colors. The level of transparency of the color relates to the marker status.

  • Different marker types with different colors
  • Steer camera to selected marker
  • Steer searchlight to selected marker
  • Sends marker coordinates to the EuroNav
  • Receives target markers from the EuroNav
  • Sends marker coordinates to FMS
  • LRF Marker (Laser Range Finder)
  • Comprehensive Marker Manager menu
 
Database & Search

ERS offers a comprehensive and powerful search engine, which can be used during the mission and with active camera overlay. The standard database includes city, street, house numbers, Point of Interests, waters (rivers, lakes, etc.) and Railroads. Beyond this, there are additional databases available on request.

 
Camera Brush Function

Depicts and records the areas which were already searched by coloring the footprint of the camera. Areas checked more times will be depicted with rich color.

 
HMI - Human Machine Interface

The ERS accepts an array of operational means to control the system. The means of control range from keyboards, Cursor Control Devices (CCD’s), Display Line Select Keys (LSK’s) to touch screens and/or the EUROAVIONICS ERS Control Panel. The latter combines a rotary knob with a joystick, push button and 8 dedicated direct access keys.


ERS Control Panel
 
Page Concept

The Page Concept is a tailored HMI for every mission and/or flight status the customer has in his mission portfolio. The Page Concept also offers you the flexibility to edit a page and assign specific settings associated with each specific page. Your created pages can be shared and imported on other ERS Systems.

 
Point Function
Entering a coordinate manually in order to define it as marker position or to steer the camera to this point.
LRF Marker (Laser Range Finder)
Every time the laser has been used to measure the height of a building etc. a LRF marker is set automatically at this particular position. Availability depends on camera model.
Searchlight Function
A Searchlight can be controlled via the ERS in paralell to a camera. Point the searchlight on a certain coordinate, marker position etc. or set it slave to the camera.
Basic Moving Map
  • High quality, full raster map coverage provided by EUROAVIONICS
  • Picture-in-Picture, Split or Full Screen mode
  • Camera Footprint

The ERS Hardware RE1 constitutes the main part of the Enhanced Reality System providing all necessary graphic and data interfaces and slots for EUROAVIONICS Solid-State-Drive. The combination of Enhanced Reality, Video Processing & Distribution and Digital Video Recording in one single avionic qualified LRU is unique.

The full ERS system is hosted in a small (1/4 ATR), lightweight, and low-power avionics computer just like the RN7 hardware. For both systems this brings along direct savings in LRU cost, weight, space, cables, power and logistics.

The ERS hardware RE1 is developed and certified to Do-160F qualification.

 
ERS Streaming-App / Remote
The ERS App is a simple, practical and cost-effective tool for replaying live video feeds for the Enhanced Reality System (ERS) including ERS Remote.
  • Mobile Data Streaming
  • Live replay from ERS to iPad devices
  • Replay mode to store and review past footage
  • Zooming functions to focus on an area of interest
  • Ideal for situational overview in the aircraft
  • Including ERS Remote control
  • Sends data to EasyTask Ground Station
  • Available for iPad Air 2 and later
 
LTE/4G and WLAN
The RE1 computer has a WLAN chip integrated that allows to perform remote wireless maintenance or up/download of map data, flight trace data, screenshots and recorded video to/from the RE1. WLAN can be (de-)activated as part of the initial project configuration. The internal LTE (4G) Module grants fast access to the internet of which a connected EuroNav 7 can also make use of.

The ERS interfaces to a wide variety of control devices. Control mechanisms range from keyboards, Cursor Control Devices (CCD’s), Display Line Select Keys (LSK’s) to touch screens and/or the EUROAVIONICS ERS Control Panel. The latter combines a rotary knob with a joystick, push button and 8 dedicated direct access keys.

 
ERS Control Unit - CLN8-ERS
Easy control even in rough flight conditions, Standard DZUS mounting, 8 x direct access keys, Integrated control knob with rotary function, 8 direction joystick, push button.
 

Keyboard - CLATMN
To interact with the ERS system a set of pages of virtual keys and menu’s is offered. The HMI virtual key legends and key positioning (e.g. to adapt to the position of the LSK’s of a specific display) is configurable for free to match cockpit/cabin consistency and ergonomics.
 

Keyboard - CLATMN 3.0
The NVIS compatible LED-Backlit keyboard improves the handling and prevents slipping. It is a 92 key rubbermat keyboard and features an integrated waterproof 25 mm laser trackball and scroll function. The anodized aluminum housing has a compact size allowing usage in cockpit or on operator console. The trackball with optical sensor allows operating in an extended temperature range from -40°C to +85°C.
 

Solid-State-Drive (SSD)
The ERS standard Mass Memory card has a capacity of 512 GB and allows emergency erase (through a discrete input). The ERS computer has 2 mass memory slots. Slot A needs to be mandatory populated since it hosts the ERS software application, maps and databases. Slot B only needs to be populated when the internal DVR functionality is used, since the video is recorded on this SSD.
 

Mounting Tray HRE-1.0
The slide-in tray supports easy vertically aligned installation and maintenance through directly mounted connectors.

 

Mounting Tray HRE-1.1
When there are tight restrictions on space, the HRE-1.1 can be used for a horizontally aligned installation.

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