Video surveillance systems are used for a wide variety of military and defense surveillance and monitoring activities, often as part of wider practices such as ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance).
Video surveillance is used to gather information for enhanced situational awareness on the battlefield, for protection of installations such as military bases and critical infrastructure, and to acquire targets for offensive capabilities such as artillery and fighter aircraft. It may be carried out by a variety of different platforms, including manned aircraft and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), naval vessels, satellites, armored vehicles, and fixed-site installations.
Rugged Video Cameras
Video cameras for force protection, perimeter surveillance and other such applications may be visible or infrared, and systems may combine both in order to provide a surveillance solution that works both during the day and at night. They may be IP cameras, allowing them to easily integrate into military networks and broadcast video data to be remotely viewed or stored, and may also be compatible with video management systems (VMS).
Video Data Links
Cameras may also be connected via wireless video data links, using RF, satellite or mobile connectivity. These data links may need to be low-latency if real-time surveillance is required. SATCOM (satellite connectivity) may be highly suited to mobile and wide-area surveillance as it provides coverage almost anywhere on the planet.
Automated Video Surveillance
Automated video surveillance solutions are becoming more common, using AI (artificial intelligence) and computer vision technologies to spot objects of interest and generate alerts as required. These solutions have a number of advantages over manned surveillance, as they require less manpower and are not prone to issues such as operator fatigue.
Mil-Spec & Rugged Video Equipment
Video surveillance cameras operating in harsh battlefield or airborne environments may need to be ruggedized in order to survive extreme environmental conditions such as moisture, dust, sand, high and low temperatures, shock and vibration, and EMI (electromagnetic interference). They may need to meet various military standards such as MIL-STD-810 and DO-160.