JIGSAW solves targeting puzzle

Harris Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Lincoln Labs and Sarnoff Corporation have recently demonstrated JIGSAW, a technology that identifies military targets obscured by camouflage.

Harris Corporation, along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Lincoln Labs and Sarnoff Corporation has recently demonstrated JIGSAW, a technology that identifies military targets obscured by natural and camouflage cover.

JIGSAW, which has been sponsored by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is said to utilise an airborne LADAR transmitter/sensor and image processing and visualisation software to penetrate dense trees and camouflage in order to detect, identify, and characterise targets on the battlefield.

The JIGSAW team has designed a system that models payloads to be flown on vehicles such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Organic Aerial Vehicles (OAVs), or larger, higher-altitude Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (TUAVs).

The team is said to have successfully fielded a larger-scale prototype, which was carried onboard a UH-1N Huey helicopter and flight-tested against real, hidden targets at the US Army’s Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. During the initial flight tests, eight months after critical design review, obscured targets were clearly identified.

‘While these tests are preliminary and there are additional refinements to be performed, the initial results completely validate the system design and viability of the technology,’ said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD). ‘The initial results dramatically improve the capability to identify hidden targets by today’s sensor systems.’

Key elements of the JIGSAW system include a small laser with a sensitive detector, provided by MIT/LL; 3D image registration, provided by Sarnoff; a 3D image processor from MIT/LL and Harris; and a 3D visualisation and user interface from Harris.