Mercury Debuts VistaNav-SSR UAV Solution for Remote Sensing Applications

Mercury Computer Systems announced VistaNav(TM)-SSR, the fully integrated Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), which comprises a ground station, integrated VistaNav synthetic vision system, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and various electronic sensor systems. Designed to drastically improve operational mission capabilities for airborne intelligence applications such as oil and gas pipeline monitoring and forest fire detection at an affordable cost, VistaNav-SSR (Smart Surveillance & Reconnaissance) is the first Mercury end-to-end product offering to be pre-integrated with an airframe architecture.

VistaNav-UAV synthetic vision-based software for controlling and monitoring of UAV activities

The VistaNav-SSR is based on the Vector-LRE airframe from IntelliTech Microsystems, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of autonomous vehicle technologies for sea, air, and space applications. The Vector-LRE is a small UAV capable of either remote-control operation or fully autonomous flight, and of performing a wide range of day and night scientific and surveillance missions including oil and gas pipeline monitoring, forest fire detection and monitoring, oil and gas magnetic surveying, precision agriculture, and more. As a tactical-class UAV, the Vector-LRE provides an excellent payload-to-weight ratio that allows the integration of multiple payload, navigation, collision avoidance, and communication subsystems onboard.

Leveraging Mercury’s 20+ years of experience in embedded computing and 3D visualization expertise, the VistaNav-SSR includes Mercury ACIP(TM) (Airborne Component Integration Processor) technology, which allows the integration of highly optimized airborne electronics and associated functions into a small, unmanned airframe.

“Building on the success of our VistaNav general aviation synthetic vision system, we are extending the benefits of 3D situational awareness to small unmanned aircraft systems,” said Philippe Roy, Director and General Manager of the Navigation & Simulation Systems Group at Mercury. “VistaNav-SSR is an affordable, easy-to-use system that will enable customers to perform very high-performance missions while significantly minimizing human error and, more importantly, human fatalities in hazardous but necessary applications.”

Some of the VistaNav-SSR functionality was successfully demonstrated last June with IntelliTech Microsystems, in a live fire detection and monitoring application sponsored by NASA and USFS at Fort Hunter Liggett Army Garrison, California.

Mercury’s ACIP technology allows virtually plug-and-play integration of a variety of payload sensors, avionics, and data link subsystems into small form factor, low weight, and low-power UAVs. Because of the high level of integration and miniaturization possible, ACIP enables a seamless integration of functions such as video stabilization, compression, meta-data generation, collision avoidance and flight management, as well as anomaly detection, in a flexible configuration package. The Mercury VistaNav-UAV 1.5, also included in the VistaNav-SSR system, is a flexible software package that powers a range of ground control stations and integrates UAV control and monitoring with data fusion and dissemination functions.

Synthetic vision is the core 3D visualization technology that provides the ultimate situational awareness to UAV operators. The cost-effective capabilities of small, low-power unmanned aerial systems is growing in popularity, with current market growth estimates at more than $10 billion by 2012* for a broad mix of airborne surveillance applications.

For pricing information, contact Mercury at (866) 627-6951 or (978) 967-1401 (for international requests), or by e-mail to More information: VistaNav-SSR