July 6, 2009:
The U.S. Marine Corps are testing an electronic device that sits on the top of a vehicle and watches in all directions for signs of trouble. CVAC2 (Computer Vision Assisted Combat Capability) consists of twelve fixed day and twelve night vidcams, plus, on a turntable, a thermal sensor, a laser rangefinder and a day/night vidcam with zoom. The next version will incorporate a sniper detection system (which uses audio sensors to locate where gunfire is coming from). CVAC2 stabilizes images and can automatically overlay images from several cameras on the single color display the operator uses. CVAC2 has GPS and recording capability, so you can capture useful images, and have a record of the time and location.
CVAC2 allows commanders of armored vehicles to stay inside, safe from enemy fire, but still able to see what's happening around the vehicle. The thermal imager, zoom camera and laser rangefinder make it possible to quickly examine suspicious activity, or a real threat. The marines will be testing the suitcase size CVAC2 this Summer, and the army and air force are looking forward to the marine report on the device.