The Naval Research Laboratory is developing the NORM Video Streaming System (NOViSS) to provide distributed reliable streaming video throughout the IBGWN network to allow Task Force 76 (CTF76) personnel to remotely monitor the SH-60B helicopter's FLIR video. MPEG-4 video compression provides the best combination of low bandwidth and high picture quality for this application. "Good desktop video" can be achieved from the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) Specification 1.0 Profile 1, which has a maximum bit rate of 15000 kbps and a screen size of 352x288. To conserve bandwidth over wireless links, the target bit rate for the NOViSS streaming video is 100 kbps, and the target screen size is 352x240.

Note: To view the video, you must have the QuickTime plugin and JavaScript enabled. These are very large video files that may take a while to download.

Bandwidth Comparison

This clip compares video at 1300 kbps and a frame rate of 30 fps to video at 100 kbps at 10 fps. The left side is close to the maximum ISMA Profile 1 (i.e., good desktop video), and the right side shows what you could reasonably expect to get through a VRC-99 wireless link.

This video was recorded directly from an AN/AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III in a laboratory environment.
1300 kbps, 30 fps100 kbps, 10 fps
Click the play button to start the video.

Frame Rate Comparison

This clip compares 100 kbps video with frame rates of 10 fps and 2 fps. For a given bandwidth, decreasing the frame rate provides a more detailed image at the expense of motion smoothness. High frame rates may not be important if the video image is not changing quickly (which may be the case for airborne video).

This video was recorded directly from an AN/AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III in a laboratory environment.
100 kbps, 10 fps100 kbps, 2 fps
Click the play button to start the video.

Sensor Quality Comparison

This clip shows how low data rate MPEG-4 can have trouble providing high quality video due to the poor quality of the input source. The left side shows that the source video has some dark vertical lines (probably on the FLIR dome or the sensor itself) and intermittent horizontal white streaks (probably due to noise or interference in the signal). These effects manifest themselves in MPEG artifacts that cause the video to have a blocky, mosaic-like appearance.

This video was recorded from a FLIR sensor aboard a P3 aircraft.
1300 kbps, 30 fps100 kbps, 10 fps
Click the play button to start the video.

Operational Use Comparison

This clip shows that lowering the frame rate of "operational" video may actually provide better imagery. The lower frame rate on the right is generally not objectionable because of the distance from the sensor to the target. At long range, and especially with the automatic tracker engaged, the image does not change much between frames, and the more detailed image is more useful. At times when the sensor is quickly slewing, the high frame rate shows the action better, but this is of little value.

This video was recorded from a FLIR sensor aboard a P3 aircraft.
100 kbps, 10 fps100 kbps, 2 fps
Click the play button to start the video.

Back to the main NOViSS page