Innovations in Persistent Wide Area Surveillance

by Jörgen Eriksson on April 18, 2014

Police helicopterFor decades, police have used aviation to track traffic and perform surveillance over large territories. While most aerial units operate helicopters, some police forces also use airplanes, allowing for higher and quieter surveillance and making it less likely that suspects will become aware they are being watched. A light aircraft also allows for longer flying time and lower running costs.

Recently new technologies have come into use. Wide area surveillance is a term for surveillance that continuously covers a very large area, often several square kilometres. It has become a growing priority over the last decade, with the increase in terrorism and the effects of large-scale natural disasters. The ability to monitor an environment and respond quickly, as necessary, means that a wide area surveillance system can be the first element of prevention and defence that saves lives and preserves critical information.

DroneFrom their roots in spying and stealth military attacks, unmanned planes are spreading into the civilian sphere. In United States, the technologies that were developed to find explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan have found civilian use and lend themselves to domestic border patrol, drug interdiction, and disaster management. Sensors on manned and unmanned aircraft today collect wide-area video imagery for near-real-time and forensic (after-the-fact) analyses. However such technologies are very expensive.

Parrot dronesCivilian drones could soon be put to work in tasks as diverse as inspecting oil pipelines, catching rhino poachers and even flying travellers. The drones come in two basic shapes, those that look like cockpit-less airplanes  and those that have helicopter-like rotor blades allowing them to hover and take off and land in restricted spaces.

One drone that is becoming increasingly popular with the public is the relatively low cost Parrot (pictured to the right). Operated from a smartphone or a tablet, the parrot can mount a HD camera with live streaming to the steering device.

Parrot flying through Fireworks

A recent new innovation originating from Croatia is the Hypersphere system for persistent continuous surveillance. It represents a disruptive innovation for two fast growing industries, unmanned aerial vehicles and remote sensing.

hypersphereWith per-flight-hour expenses ten to fifteen times lower than other unmanned systems in the same class, the Hypersphere enables a considerable cost reduction in the use of the unmanned aerial systems, as well as a significant market application expansion.

The Hypersphere can stay in the air for up to 100 hours of continuous flight and it supports a wide variety of continuous surveillance missions. See a video about the Hypersphere below.


About Jörgen Eriksson :

Jörgen Eriksson is the founder of Bearing and is the Chairman of the firm since it was created. He has successfully expanded Bearing into covering projects on four continents. He is also Adjunct Professor of Innovation Management at the International University of Monaco and at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona and he is an active member of the Founders Alliance organisation.

Working with consulting engagements across Bearings practices, he has over the past fifteen years participated in and supervised a large number of client projects, from innovation system development and place development and branding, to merger and acquisition assignments and leading edge research and business development activities for key clients.

His new book, Branding for Hooligans, will be published in 2015. It is about how innovation and branding are key survival factors in our modern times of hyper competitive markets.

Prior to Bearing, he was Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Trema Treasury Management, a technology and consulting services provider, supplying financial software solutions for the global financial industry, Clients included The European Central Bank, Citibank, SEB, South African reserve Bank, Deutsche Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), as well as many other large financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Early in his career Eriksson was educated at the Stockholm School of Economics, where he studied economics, financial economics and philosophy. He then worked in Scandinavian investment banks and also for the Swedish Institute of National Defense Research.

You can contact Jörgen on e-mail, connect on LinkedIn onörgen-eriksson/0/38/8a0/ and follow him on twitter on joreri508.

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