Sentient’s AI-enabled ViDAR optical sensors soar on Edge Autonomy’s VXE30 “Stalker” UAS in successful live demonstrations

Virginia Beach, Va. (Aug 29, 2023) – Sentient Vision Systems (Sentient) has successfully completed live demonstrations of its AI-enabled ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) payload deployed on Edge Autonomy’s VXE30 UAS. The VXE30 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) solution is the latest and most advanced version of the “Stalker” series of small uncrewed aerial systems (sUAS) from Edge Autonomy. When coupled with Sentient’s ViDAR, the VXE30 provides a passive, wide area search capability, enabling it to serve a myriad of maritime operations. The joint capability will be on display at DSEI 2023, 12-15 September in London.

ViDAR, developed by Sentient, utilizes AI; Computer Vision, and Machine Learning integrated with Electro-Optic and Infrared (EO/IR) sensors to passively detect objects that are difficult to spot by the human eye or recognise on a conventional radar. With these enhanced capabilities, Stalker will be more capable of accurately detecting and locating people, objects, and vessels (day and night) far from the operator.

ViDAR has been deployed on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions (ISR), maritime patrol and border protection, as well as search and rescue missions since 2015. ViDAR is proven to be effective in challenging maritime conditions up to Sea State 6 (very rough with waves 13 to 20 feet high/ 4 to 6 meters).

Sentient has successfully evolved ViDAR into a compact, lightweight, low power form factor—low SWaP (size, weight, and power) — suitable for deployment on small Group 2 / NATO Class 1 UAS such as the VXE30. Its successful integration onto the VXE30 demonstrates its broad operating envelope and ability to provide unprecedented long-endurance imaging capability in contested environments all around the world.

Joshua Stinson, Edge Autonomy’s Chief Growth Officer said, “The integration of ViDAR onto the VXE30 is an essential part of our UAS deployment program. ViDAR’s passive detection system will further the VXE30’s capabilities to remain undetected in a contested environment while carrying a powerful maritime detection sensor that provides a real-time picture of the maritime domain. This capability could make all the difference in a mission’s success.”

Paul Harris, Sentient’s VP of Business Development agreed and said, “We are delighted to be working with Edge Autonomy to demonstrate how effective ViDAR is at increasing the utility of the small and agile VXE30 for the challenges of the modern battlespace. We look forward to displaying our joint capabilities at DSEI.”

With close to 4,500 systems deployed, Sentient’s AI-enabled sensor edge solutions for wide area motion imagery are proven for detection in missions worldwide.

Photo courtesy Sentient