Optical sensors and the advantages of AI integration

Optical sensors and the advantages of AI integration

Optical systems are an integral resource for any site seeking to introduce Counter Unmanned Aerial System (CUAS) capabilities. Their unique strengths enable teams to differentiate drones from other objects and positively identify potential threats.  

While artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities have long been recognised in the CUAS landscape, recent innovations have enabled the integration of AI into many sensors, such as optical tools, increasing their capabilities considerably from automating operations, to giving earlier awareness of the potential intent of rogue drone operators and delivering a wealth of advantages for response teams. Below, we explore AI-enabled optical sensors in more detail and discuss how two of our innovative products aim to bring these advantages to sites of any size.    

Optical sensors – an introduction 

Just as RF receivers make use of antennae to identify characteristic drone communication signals, optical sensors use machine vision cameras to identify objects, alerting response teams to aerial or ground-based movement. Introducing AI to these sensors delivers new capabilities, such as the ability to autonomously detect, classify/identify and track moving objects.  

Achieving this involves incorporating intelligent behavioural analysis algorithms. Compared to other flying objects like birds, drone movements are significantly more linear and predictable. These algorithms are employed to observe and interpret the movement of an object, to determine if they resemble the behaviour of a bird, a plane, or other aerial-based objects such as a drone.  

With AI, this can be done autonomously and with heightened accuracy 24/7 without operator fatigue. 

The core benefits of AI-enabled optical sensors 

AI image analytics have revolutionised the field of optical detection systems. The integration of AI with optical systems has made them more efficient and cost-effective, amongst other benefits. Just some of these advantages include:  

  • Consistent reliable operation 
  • Reduced operator workload 
  • Greater situational awareness  
  • Enhanced classification accuracy 
  • Scalability 

Consistent operation 

One of the key advantages of AI-powered optical detection systems is that they don’t require downtime – meaning that they can be in operation continually.  

Human operators can quickly become fatigued after hours of staring at a screen, which can lead to errors and missed threats. In contrast, AI-enabled systems can operate 24/7, providing a constant watchful eye over the specified perimeter. 

Greater insights 

AI-enabled optical detection systems can process vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. They can analyse multiple camera feeds in real time, detecting, tracking, and classifying threats with speed and precision. This is especially important in today’s fast-paced security environment, where threats can emerge and evolve rapidly. 

Enhanced accuracy 

AI-enabled optical sensors use a range of tailored machine learning algorithms, reinforced through feedback mechanisms to bring the highest level of classification accuracy possible to drone detection systems. AI tools are also capable of detecting objects that are imperceptible to the human eye, sometimes limited to just one or two pixels in a camera feed.   

Scalability  

A core advantage of AI-powered optical systems is their scalability. They can be integrated with other systems, such as radar and RF sensors, to create a comprehensive, multi-layered defence network. By combining multiple sources of data, AI-powered optical systems can provide a more complete picture of the threat environment, allowing operators to make more informed decisions. 

Want to learn more? Read how deep learning is changing drone detection. 

SKYSIGHT™ and INSIGHT™ – our innovative new products  

At Operational Solutions, we’ve brought our decades of experience and sensor-based insight to bring two unique products – SKYSIGHT™ and INSIGHT™ – to layered CUAS.  

SKYSIGHT™ 

The latest in our range of innovative products, SKYSIGHT™, brings advanced AI image analytics to two optical sensors in a single package. This enables sites to detect, classify, and track incursions through one efficient deployment.  

Operating at large distances, SKYSIGHT™ can detect and track multiple drones simultaneously. SKYSIGHT™ can be seamlessly integrated into an existing security ecosystem, to reduce operator strain while improving detection accuracy and efficiency.  

INSIGHT™ 

Offering an alternative to SKYSIGHT™’s complete approach, INSIGHT™ offers an advanced AI module which can be integrated with any existing high-resolution camera feed. INSIGHT™ analyses camera feeds and then cleverly classifies and tracks aerial objects like birds, drones, helicopters, or people based on the streaming visual data. 

As a result, security teams can leverage a greater level of intelligence from their existing infrastructure. 

Learn more about both products today by visiting our dedicated products section.  

Enabling full situational intelligence 

AI-powered optical systems represent a significant advancement in the field of security and surveillance. They offer unparalleled speed, accuracy, and scalability, making them a powerful tool for detecting, tracking, and classifying threats. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more sophisticated and effective solutions emerging in the years to come. 

At Operational Solutions, we’re dedicated to applying our expertise to bring advanced CUAS and UTM solutions to sites worldwide. Combining an unparalleled level of visibility with a single integrated operating picture, we enable teams to gain an unprecedented level of insight into site security to protect people and property. To learn more about how we can enhance your site security with greater situational intelligence, get in touch.