Tactical Sensors

Designing smart sensors for small platforms

Drawing on our vast sensor heritage, SDL now develops cutting-edge sensor technologies for small payload systems. Our tactical sensors consolidate the full feature set of much larger systems within the restricted space and ruggedization requirements of Class 3 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or other small manned and unmanned aircraft. We design, manufacture and integrate full sensor product suites, including the sensor hardware itself, the command and control software, and accompanying image formation and data processing capabilities.

  • Sensors feature embedded processing capabilities (intelligence) as well as integrated navigational systems (geo-awareness).
  • Sensors use standard Ethernet interfaces and can be controlled in real time from a ground station.
  • Data products are generated in standard (NITF 2.1 compliant) format for rapid exploitation via DCGS and other common exploitation stations.

SDL’s EyePod visible and infrared digital sensor system and NuSAR dual-band synthetic aperture radar have been extensively demonstrated under the Naval Research Laboratory’s FEATHAR (Fusion, Exploitation, Algorithms, and Targeting for High-Altitude Reconnaissance) program.

A suite of these UAV-centric sensors with cooperative capabilities can be connected in an Intelligent Geo-Aware Sensor System (IGSS) for automatic data fusion and real-time cross cueing.

As a complement to our development of small cooperative sensors, SDL also designs lightweight payload stabilization technologies.