Home » News » Thermal imaging used in Planet Earth II could soon be integrated into battle tanks

Thermal imaging used in Planet Earth II could soon be integrated into battle tanks


Within the BBC’s Planet Earth II nature documentary sequence, David Attenborough’s staff used superior thermal imaging cameras developed by aerospace firm Leonardo to track a pack of leopards searching within the darkened streets of Mumbai.

Now, that very same know-how could possibly be constructed into the British Military’s major battle tank. BAE Techniques is bidding for a contract to improve Challenger II, and Leonardo’s superior evening imaginative and prescient tech is a key a part of its plan.

As a substitute of detecting gentle, Leonardo’s cameras sense warmth emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero (-273C). Every pixel within the sensor is 1/12 the thickness of a human hair, and may detect modifications as small as 1/50 of a centigrade, producing extraordinarily sharp pictures.

“Our thermal cameras – designed and constructed within the UK – can ‘see’ in complete darkness so far as the horizon, and the purposes for this know-how are limitless – from serving to enhance our understanding of the pure world to enhancing the operational capabilities of the British Military’s Challenger 2 major battle tank,” stated Mike Gilbert, senior vp of Optronics Techniques UK at Leonardo.

“Our infra-red know-how performs an important position in supporting British troops in essentially the most difficult environments and we’re happy to be working alongside BAE Techniques to supply this know-how for Challenger 2, serving to lengthen its life to 2035 and past.”

Warmth of the second

Leonardo’s thermal imaging know-how has discovered a wealth of makes use of – each navy and civilian. Along with different nature packages, together with Autumnwatch and The Great British Year, it is proved worthwhile in worldwide sport. In the course of the Ashes Check Sequence in Australia, it was used to find out whether or not the ball had struck the batsman, bat, or pads by detecting the friction of influence.

From a navy standpoint, the know-how has helped helicopters to fly undetected by mountain valleys in Afghanistan, and enabled their crews to detect, acknowledge and determine troops earlier than entry into drop or touchdown zones.

“Leonardo’s sight brings to Crew Challenger 2 essentially the most succesful evening imaginative and prescient accessible,” stated Simon Jackson, marketing campaign chief for Crew Challenger 2 at BAE Techniques.

“Mixed with our engineering abilities and information of Challenger 2 – which we designed and constructed – we’ll work collectively to combine Leonardo’s know-how seamlessly into the tank, sharing knowledge throughout crew stations and with battle administration computer systems.”


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