UAS Video Terminal Connects Boots on the Ground to Eyes in the Sky
October 1, 2007
By Kim Henry
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Army News Service, Oct. 2, 2007) - The Army fielded its 200th One-System Remote Video Terminal to Iraq and Afghanistan last month. Soldiers using an OSRVT can display the sensor feed from any of the Army's Unmanned Aircraft Systems and gain an unprecedented, instantaneous common view of the battlefield.
The OSRVT is a leap in capability from other UAS video receivers because it displays not only video, but also "metadata" that tell Soldiers exactly where the UAS is, which is essential for tactical combat decisions. In addition, the OSRVT constantly scans through its operational range for other UASs and displays them on a map of the area, allowing Soldiers to instantly switch to a UAS with a better view of a target.
"It is the only UAS video receiver that has metadata to improve situational awareness," said Lt. Col. Jennifer Jensen, Common Systems Integration acting product manager. "You know where you are in relation to the unmanned aircraft, so you know how far and what direction you would need to go to reach the area of interest."
In this time where Joint UAS cooperation is critical, the OSRVT is unique in enhancing situational awareness, commonality and interoperability. The OSRVT provides the Soldier with not only near-real-time sensor information from Army UASs, such as Raven, Shadow, Hunter, Warrior A, Micro Air Vehicle and the new Sky Warrior, but also the video and data of other services' manned and unmanned platforms including the Marine Corps's Pioneer and Air Force's Predator and Lightning Pods.
"Everyone, regardless of the platform, receives the same information at the same time, leading to true interoperability, the Army's key goal," said Lt. Col. Adam Hinsdale, chief, UAS Division, Department of the Army Aviation Directorate. "The OSRVT is a vital component of manned/unmanned teaming, allowing all elements, air and ground, to view the same synchronized area of interest simultaneously for coordinated engagement, with either kinetic or non-kinetic effects."
"The OSRVT is soon to be one of the Army's premier programs of record," said Col. Don Hazelwood, Army UAS project manager.
PEO Aviation fielded the first of 1,000 OSRVTs in February, and the system will soon be common throughout the modular force. Laptop units are in use by ground combat teams, while 12 command and control UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are already equipped with this system. OSRVTs have been integrated into 28 Strykers headed to Iraq, and the system will be in Apache cockpits by next summer.
"It is the link that brings it all together to the end user, the Soldier," said Tim Owings, Army UAS deputy project manager.
(Kim Henry serves with PEO Aviation Public Affairs.)