Video plays a crucial role in defense and security, and video streams are now used in armored vehicles for target acquisition, Local Situation Awareness, and other military applications. GigE Vision is an Internet Protocol (IP) video transport standard that provides many benefits for these applications.

The requirements for video-over-IP transport applications in the defense and security sector include low latency, support for compressed and uncompressed video, interoperability with existing equipment, and transmission of video from one location to many (known as multicast).

GigE connectivity between different camera types and consoles in naval systems can be achieved with IP engine units, which convert different camera signals such as analog, LVDS, and CameraLink to GigE.

To make effective decisions, live video must be received instantly. For example, the driver of an armored vehicle has no or very limited natural line of sight, and must rely on up to three video monitors for all his or her visual guidance. If the latency is higher than approximately 100 milliseconds, the driver may have difficulty driving the vehicle and the time difference between visual stimuli and physical feedback could eventually lead to motion sickness. The support for compressed and uncompressed data is also crucial since the video and imaging data is often sent to multiple locations with different purposes and different receiving capabilities. Legacy equipment is still very present in the military infrastructure and new equipment has to interface properly and easily with existing equipment.

Full multicast support is a key requirement. Video signals are frequently sent simultaneously to multiple groups inside an armored vehicle — one stream to the driver, one stream to the gunner and commander in the turret, and one stream to the crew in the back.

Using the GigE Vision Standard

Military requirements for video transport are met by GigE Vision, an open standard that was developed for the machine vision industry in applications like quality assurance, post and parcel sorting, intelligent traffic monitoring, and more. GigE Vision is an open framework for transferring imaging data and control signals between cameras and PCs or displays over standard Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) networks.

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