Trillium Engineering tests new video encoder for drones

Oregon-based technology company Trillium Engineering has announced it has conducted a test flight of a new video processor that will improve the operation of Group 2 UAS, the company said.

The current crop of full-motion video camera systems used on tactical UAS rely on an H.264 video compression codec standard. The resulting picture is good enough for close targets. But when the UAS operates at long ranges from the ground station, the bit rate to the operator is reduced.

As a result, critical details in the imagery get fuzzy. By adapting its video camera systems to the newer, more efficient H.265 standard, Trillium Engineering promises to change all that.

In late August, company engineers took an HD80-MV gimbaled camera with a video processor designed to handle the new H.265 standard and mounted the system on a Cessna aircraft. The plane served as a test surrogate for a Group 2 UAS, with the HD80-MV controlled from a laptop on the ground.

The airborne demonstration of the H.265 video processor for small, gimbaled cameras was funded in part by a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, awarded in the fall of last year by the US Air Force Research Laboratory. The next step is to demonstrate the new capability to UAS companies.

Trillium Engineering is an industry leader in gimbaled camera systems for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that specializes in designing and manufacturing gimbaled camera systems for tactical unmanned aircraft.