Safran and Vodea develop high-speed video compression solution for drones

Issue No. 24 | December 16-31, 2016

French defence procurement agency DGA held its annual Innovation Forum on November 23 and 24 at the Ecole Polytechnique near Paris. Safran Electronics & Defence participated in this event with its partner Vodea, a small French business specialised in very high speed data compression solutions for networked intelligence systems.

Their partnership was formed in the wake of France’s new tactical drone system contract, awarded to Safran’s Patroller system. Equipped with very powerful sensors, this new drone naturally requires a communications system capable of transmitting several high-resolution video streams to the ground in real time, without degrading the intrinsic quality of these images.

The key to meeting this heady challenge lies in a new video compression solution. Vodea teamed up with Safran Electronics & Defence to develop FOCUS, a device capable of simultaneously compressing several hi-res video channels at high speed. This solution was developed within the scope of the ‘Rapid’ contract awarded by the DGA, part of France’s Ministry of Defence.

Based on very powerful algorithms, this device is capable of automatically reprogramming data transmissions, by adapting to different transmission conditions and the requirements of troops on the ground. By combining automation, standardisation and high security, this solution saves time and simplifies intelligence operations.