By: Lee Kaplan
In the 1950’s during the cold war, the United States Army had the need for an aerial reconnaissance tool that could see through clouds or fog and at any time of day. Their solution was SAR, short for Synthetic Aperture Radar. The technology has become one of the most important tools for viewing the earth from a long distance with a high degree of accuracy, and is being used today in a wide variety applications. Since the 1950’s much has changed technologically, and the field of computer vision has evolved significantly to the point where it’s easy to see how with the right people, these worlds can combine into something really special and innovative.
SAR images are hard to understand. They don’t look like ordinary pictures, so now in order to understand a SAR image, one person is required to be highly trained. This limits the possible dissemination and value of SAR images to a very limited audience. We at Edgybees can make it easy to understand SAR images even to the average user. The solution? Augmented Reality.
Imagine a large fire causing structural damage to a building, with other buildings in the area having already collapsed as smoke impairs visibility. SAR can “see” through smoke, allowing the user to assess the situation. If we could give you a blueprint of the buildings overlayed over the SAR image you could immediately see where it aligns with the walls and where it doesn’t, so you get an understanding of what’s going on with the building.
Essentially, we are able to overlay an augmented reality layer on top of live video and give context to complex situations. This principle applies to SAR quite effectively, giving the user a visual aid to understand satellite imagery to the fullest extent.
Whether it be first responders, military, homeland security, energy, or broadcasting, the merger of augmented reality and SAR is an exciting prospect, and Edgybees is proud to be the industry leader in this space.