PAL Aerospace extends search capabilities

Feb 21, 2019

– St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

Canada's PAL Aerospace has confirmed its collaboration with Australia’s Sentient Vision to offer customers the revolutionary Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) optical radar. Under this agreement, PAL will operate a specially configured ViDAR array within the AIMS mission system currently provided through its subsidiary, CarteNav.

Based in Newfoundland, PAL Aerospace is a world leader in aircraft special mission operations, having accumulated more than 250,000 flying hours of experience across 35 years of surveillance operations in fisheries monitoring, defence and security operations, search and rescue, pollution detection, drug interdiction and environmental and ice management.

“PAL Aerospace believes the incorporation of this world leading optical search system is a meaningful complement to the capacity of our recently launched Force Multiplier special missions’ aircraft,” said PAL CEO Brian Chafe. “PAL is committed to providing flexible solutions that meet the needs of our customers and adding ViDAR’s unique capabilities enhances that capability.”

ViDAR is a wide area optical search system capable of operation unaffected by environmental obstacles, such as whitecaps, which detrimentally affect traditional technologies. The system is unique in its ability to detect objects as small as fishing buoys and people in the water over significant areas, allowing aircraft operators to map vast swaths of the ocean in real time. ViDAR autonomously locates objects on the surface of the water, transmits a thumbnail and location coordinate back to the AIMS mission system and prompts the operator to investigate further.

Both ViDAR and AIMS have extensive records of accomplishment and are in operation on multiple continents across multiple environments in both military and civilian application.

Sentient will work with PAL on the integration of ViDAR into the AIMS mission system. “Blending these leading edge technologies into a combined offering marks a significant step forward in providing a game changing ocean surface search solution to customers. Whether it is search and rescue, fisheries surveillance, counter narcotics or border protection, ViDAR provides an optimal solution to address these complex mission requirements,” said Simon Olsen, Sentient’s Director of Business Development, Strategy and Partnerships.

PAL Aerospace COO Jake Trainor confirms that PAL has worked with Sentient for many years, originally on the implementation of the Kestrel Moving Target Indicator (MTI) feature into AIMS, and most recently on integrating ViDAR. “AIMS provides an intuitive interface from which operators can take advantage of the capabilities of the ViDAR persistent wide-area maritime search,” he said.

Sentient Vision Systems develops and deploys computer vision solutions for defense and civil applications. The company specializes in video analytics with a primary focus on the development of automated detection software for full motion video. With more than 1,700 systems deployed, Sentient’s solutions enhance the performance of EO/IR operations for many agencies and forces worldwide.

With its focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions, PAL Aerospace has been recognized by governments and militaries for reliability and on-time/on-budget delivery. This track record of success has led to on-going operations around the world, and PAL’s collaboration with Sentient confirms its commitment to collaboration and long-term growth in the Australian market.