Exelis ( NYSE:XLS) has integrated a nationwide network of cameras and applied imaging analytics that detect changing weather at a hyperlocal, or street, scale capable of informing users of threatening conditions.
The Helios environmental intelligence platform uses proprietary algorithms that give users the ability to monitor current conditions and detect changes in visibility, precipitation and road surface conditions. Helios can also almost instantly identify changes in weather conditions and alert users who can also record conditions for review later. The change-detection, notification and recording capabilities are new features to the Helios platform, a product first unveiled in January.
The Helios product reflects our focus and expertise in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and analytics enterprise area within Exelis, developing out of core competencies in weather and image science. It transforms an observation-only vision system into an intelligent environmental sensor system to answer the demand for hyperlocal weather data not currently or reliably available through conventional weather observation networks.
“Helios combines thousands of disparate traffic and surveillance cameras into a single source of information and mines images to detect changing weather conditions in real time,” said Brian Bell, Exelis product manager for Helios. “Critical ground-based observations and information are not currently provided. Helios allows regional forecasting to become very targeted to give users the detailed weather data they need.”The Helios platform integrates networks of surveillance cameras already in use to watch traffic, facility security and railroad assets for weather monitoring. An enhanced application program and user interface allows faster integration with existing infrastructure for commercial weather companies, government agencies, and industries like transportation and insurance that rely heavily on weather data. “Often weather information and forecasts are generic to a general area and misrepresent conditions at a hyperlocal scale, Bell said. “The difference between weather at the county level and actual conditions at a neighborhood level can be great. Inaccurate weather information can range from causing slight inconveniences to major loss of property and life and everything in between.”