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SkyTrac and TerraSense to boost Transport Canada surveillance
The TerraSense MIST technology, which will be hosted on board SkyTrac's SDL-350, will fuse, process and analyse camera and sensor data with minimal latency. It is being installed on Dash-7 and 8 aircraft in Canada.

SkyTrac Systems, a satellite communication and intelligent connectivity solutions provider, and TerraSense Analytics, a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) and sensor fusion technologies, have announced a strategic partnership to bring their combined capabilities to Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) for Maritime and Arctic Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR).

The SkyTrac SDL-350 Satcom terminal will provide Transport Canada's Dash-7 and Dash-8 aircraft with Iridium Certus connectivity, enabling up to 704 Kbps of bandwidth. The connectivity will provide the aircraft with the capability to transmit live video and EO/IR imaging directly to the ground in real-time. Voyageur was recently tasked with upgrading the NASP Dash fleet, and kit provided by SkyTrac and TerraSense will be part of the upgrade.

“We have partners in multiple segments of aviation that rely on onboard cameras and sensors for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance applications,” explains Jan van der Heul, vice president of sales of SkyTrac. “While studying their various use-cases, it became clear to us that artificial intelligence combined with live video could enhance their operation We see AI as a core technology heading into the future, and we're excited to roll out these new capabilities in partnership with TerraSense.”

The TerraSense MIST technology, which will be hosted on board SkyTrac's SDL-350, will fuse, process and analyse camera and sensor data with minimal latency. The unique system will process electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV) and side looking airborne radar (SLAR) in real-time, providing the operator with live tracking and alerting. MIST also enables analysts to rapidly search and retrieve video and metadata from multiple aerial platforms for post mission analysis.

The SDL-350 and MIST system for target detection and tracking is capable of autonomously identifying a diverse range of intelligence requirements including fishing and cargo vessels, naval traffic, threats to border security, and SAR. The MIST platform mitigates human factors such as fatigue, training, distraction and bias, as well as increasing the persistence of surveillance without compromising the health of aircrews.

“We set out to create a truly usable artificial intelligence system, one that can withstand the rigours of real-life operations and the demands of highly-trained operators without the learning curves found in legacy systems,” mentions Jozsef Hamari, TerraSense's chief technology officer.

Though broadband satellite communication services have existed prior to Iridium Certus, none have been capable of truly global operations. The Iridium Certus satellite service, which operates on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation, offers a much lower size, weight and power at a lower cost point than legacy solutions.

The new solution will ultimately be marketed to the military and government, SAR, coast guard, law enforcement and unmanned segments of aviation.

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