The folks at SRC Computers – a privately owned company established in 1996 by legendary computer architect Seymour Cray – say they've been selected to provide processors for the Precision Image Tracking and Registration (PI TrackR) program developed by the Air Force Research Lab's (AFRL) Sensors Directorate.
SRC's COTS Portable MAPstations – which use a combination of general-purpose CPUs and reconfigurable FPGA-based hardware accelerators – will be flown on-board small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with high resolution cameras connected directly to the MAP processor's GPIOX port, providing real-time high pixel count imaging and metadata to track pilot/operator identified targets.
SRC's Portable MAPstations are lightweight powerful solutions in a small form factor for compute-intensive processing. The Portable MAPstation solutions for PI TrackR weigh less than four pounds and measure only 120 cubic inches, while delivering 9.6 Gbytes per second of direct sensor I/O bandwidth. The systems will be programmed using SRC's Carte high-level language development environment. The ability to process the sensor information in-flight versus losing precious time while the data is relayed to a ground station is very significant.
The first flights of the PI TrackR program are scheduled for mid-year 2008.