If you’ve ever been on board an armoured vehicle, you’ll know how submarine-like the spaces can be: often restrictive in terms of movement, and offering little local situational awareness. Your overview of surroundings is heavily limited by small windows covered by armoured protective plates – or no windows at all – with a slim periscope your only visual connection to the outside world.

This all forces you to drive very carefully and slowly – which can be far from ideal in a combat scenario. Yet this is the reality for many drivers of military vehicles. The solution: ruggedised camera systems.

Technological developments are in constant evolution. Rapid and reliable information networks are essential for today’s highly mobile and dynamic military operations. In line with this, vehicle-mounted information technology is changing the battlefield as we speak. It can not only provide force projection, but also force protection.

Local situational awareness

Saab offers a wide range of rugged vehicle electronics, or ‘vetronics’, solutions that are operationally proven to withstand harsh environmental requirements on the battlefield. The company’s digital vision enhancement system provides an excellent awareness of vehicle surroundings by individually distributed real-time video streams to all vehicle workstations.

Saab’s digital platform supports several established protocols such as Saab VDS, Def Stan 00-82, GigE Vision and STANAG 4609, and due to its open-system architecture it allows easy integration on both new and legacy systems.

The Saab concept offers a ruggedised, flexible, ethernetbased system designed for an absolute minimum of latency, and this might be the most important characteristic of them all. Even the slightest delay in the video stream could results in a potential disaster. You must be able to rely on what you see and be prepared to act accordingly, as a delay could be potentially devastating.

Complete systems

Saab offers a wide range of cameras, displays, ethernet switches and adapters enabling a completely modular and scalable solution. In some cases it may suffice with a single camera and display to do the job. In other cases it may be necessary to install numerous displays and cameras, built together in a complete package. No matter what, low latency remains equally important.

The confined, often cluttered, spaces in military vehicles demand size, weight and power consumption of these systems to be minimal while functionality and performance are optimised – a difficult-to-achieve combination. If you then also have to consider the extreme environmental conditions, you realise that this is not something you can buy off the shelf.

All of Saab’s equipment has been designed, manufactured and certified for use in the most extreme environmental conditions, including vibration, shock, humidity, moisture, high and low temperature, and EMI. Every system is carefully integrated into existing infrastructure and legacy systems using military-standard connectors, wiring and climatically sealed housings. Finally, the company makes sure that systems are secured for future upgrades in order to maintain operational capability.