Skyeye, developed by Elbit Systems, enables a single platform to track multiple targets, supporting several users with simultaneous high-quality visual imagery. The company claims that its unique system can deliver such capability without committing costly stabilized EO payloads for each point of interest. The scalable system delivers multiple, real-time full-motion video streams, yet is contained in a small footprint to fly on the Hermes 450 tactical UAVs, as well as on the larger Hermes 900.
A different solution offered by Rafael Advanced Technologies relies on its combat-proven Reccelite tactical reconnaissance pod, and the lighter Recce-U, optimized for UAV operation. Unlike the other systems delivering live video for real-time surveillance, the Reccelite's gimbaled high-resolution sensor provides precise snapshots. By manipulating field of view (details) and revisit-frequency to meet priority status and relevance of each target, users obtain persistent coverage of wide areas.
Still photographs delivered by the system over time have proven several tracking benefits, like being able to plot departure and arrival points, map patterns of life, aid in uncovering significant activities and insurgent association, and show network topologies. Another benefit of using still imagery is the fusion of such information with large data sources, through data-mining, to deliver enhanced intelligence products.
Unattended ground sensors complement the bird's-eye view. Israel reportedly used powerful sensors hidden on mountaintops in Lebanon to track insurgent activities years after its forces left the area. Such sites were uncovered by the Lebanese in recent years, but only a decade after their emplacement. Since the 1990s, unattended sensors have evolved, with current sensors becoming ever smaller and more sensitive.
For example, Elbit Systems has unveiled two sensor families. The smart Small All-Terrain Networked Detector comprises computer-controlled seismic, acoustic and visual sensors, networked and powered to operate unattended and unsupported for years, behind enemy lines. A different miniature networked sensor, smaller than a matchbox, can be deployed by dismounted patrols or fired by artillery or mortar shells. Used like breadcrumbs scattered along the line of movement, these sensors are left behind unattended to monitor the area for months, without support.