The AIA System can accommodate multiple video input streams and route them to any combination of attached displays or network connections. Each video input and output module has three DVI-D (HDMI) connectors and supports three input or output image streams, respectively. Each algorithm module supports three input streams and three output streams, which are connected through the switching fabric.

The switched fabric serves as a video matrix switch and allows any video input to be routed to any video output, including multiple outputs. Video inputs can be routed to any of the algorithm modules, or any combination of algorithms. Additionally, each algorithm module has two external Ethernet connections for sending video streams to networked viewers. Also, USB connections are associated with each video connection to enable KVM and touch panel support.

The AIA System is a flexible solution that, once deployed, can still be configured and reconfigured to meet changing needs minute-to-minute. The views on the various displays can be customized at any time interactively by an individual viewer. Video streams can be rerouted on-demand. After the algorithms are installed in the system, they are, for all practical purposes, part of the hardware. The “virtual buttons” on the displays permit control of the system and reconfiguration by enabling direct human interaction with system hardware and require no software. Much of the flexibility of the system is a result of using an FPGA design. In addition to its programmability, the FPGA allows a very high degree of hardware integration.

Live, full-motion video from unmanned aircraft systems has become indispensable in military and intelligence operations. Quality imagery is essential to mission success. Today, inconsistent quality and image degradation are a problem, and require immediate action.

This article was written by Jack Wade and Pauline Shulman of Z Microsystems, San Diego, CA. For more information, visit