Aviation Specialties Unlimited Inc. (ASU) will unveil their new microgimbal, Observation Wide-area Low altitude Sensor, (OWLS) at NBAA 2014, and will be demonstrating the system at booth 1478.
“The introduction of the OWLS marks the second major product innovation and release for ASU in 2014,” said ASU President Jim Winkel. “ASU has committed to bringing innovative new products to market that fill unique needs within the civil aviation market, defense market, and other market segments. The OWLS from ASU is designed to meet the growing needs of the UAV market.”
ASU’s microgimbal is designed to perform surveillance, reconnaissance, and target detection from airborne platforms. The system is modeled and optimized for use on a lightweight UAV. It can also be affixed to a manned aircraft with its small size (4” diameter), lightweight (less than 2 lbs.), and low power (less than 5 Watts) configuration. Additionally the microgimbal offers advanced night vision imaging capabilities. The ASU payload sensor assembly system will meet standard commercial aviation requirements such as DO-160, Environmental Conditions, and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment.
“What makes the OWLS different from other EOIR gimbal payloads is a true night vision sensor that uses a low light CMOS camera with extremely low electronic noise performance that can image into starlight light level conditions,” said ASU Chief Technology Officer Doctor Joe Estrera. “Others gimbals use thermal infrared cameras, but will not achieve the needed resolution to recognize/identify feature rich objects in a scene. The camera that ASU is using in OWLS is closely approaching the night vision performance of military image intensifiers.”
ASU is developing multiple OWLS systems with various levels of operational capabilities. The next version of OWLS will have field proven microelectronics that will digitally fuse (pixel by pixel) the night vision (visible/NIR) pixel with the infrared pixel. Further extending night vision range with the capability to see through atmospheric obscurants such as smoke.
ASU will have a demonstration trailer setup in booth 1478 at NBAA to showcase OWLS and the company’s recently released White Phosphor Night Vision Goggles.