Kestrel Land MTI


Kestrel Land MTI is a software solution that automatically detects movement in electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) full motion video (FMV) from manned aircraft and UAVs.

Kestrel enhances airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions by:

  • Quickly transforming raw data into actionable intelligence
  • Automatically detecting moving objects too small or slow for fatigued
    human eyes or radar to detect
  • Increasing surveillance mission coverage over wide areas

Kestrel Land MTI is at TRL 9 with extensive operational deployments.



Small Object Detection
Kestrel detects moving objects, often too small for fatigued human eyes to see. By increasing the probability of detection and reducing the rate of false alarms, it allows the operator to focus on objects more quickly. Kestrel’s digital zooming capability permits the operator to quickly investigate activities on the ground in more detail – zooming in on a specific object or location.

Real-time and Forensic Operations
Kestrel enables aerial video to be analyzed automatically in real-time as well as after action for forensic analysis. By remaining alert 100% of the time, detection of objects is significantly enhanced. Snapshots of any video frame can be instantly taken, saved as an image and transmitted to analysts with all vital intelligence information.

Increased Surveillance Area
Kestrel enables greater coverage from existing hardware. By being able to detect very small objects, the sensor can zoom out further and cover a much greater area per mission hour.

Moving Object Tracking
Kestrel displays ‘breadcrumbs’ indicating where each detected object has previously been in the image area. This gives the operator a visible history of the objects’ movements. Kestrel uses key characteristics to predict their future path. This enables Kestrel to maintain Detection IDs and form consistent breadcrumb trails, even when the software is unable to track the objects due to poor visibility or if the object is obscured for a period of time whilst in the field of view.

Geo-location Data
Kestrel processes full motion video that contains geo-location meta-data compliant with STANAG 4609 and MISB 0601. It also inserts object detection data into output video streams for downstream applications.

Plug and Play
Kestrel runs in standard Windows and Linux environments and can be easily added to a Ground Control Station (GCS), PED system, Remote Video Terminal (RVT) or networked from a separate PC. Simply send your existing ground station video feed to Kestrel or for enhanced performance, install Kestrel onto the payload of your air platform. Kestrel is also available in API form for Windows and Linux.



Tier Description Typical Platforms

Tier 1


Optimized for small UAS with a typical operating altitude of 2,000ft or lower
and take-off weight 25lb or less

AeroVironment Wasp, Raven, Puma

Tier 2


Optimized for tactical UAS or small VTOLs typically operating at an altitude
between 1,000 and 10,000ft.


Insitu ScanEagle; AAI Shadow, Aerosonde; Northrop Grumman BAT


Tier 3



Optimized for stable HALE/MALE UAS, manned aircraft or helicopters with a typical operating altitude of 5,000ft or greater.



P-3 Orion; IAI Heron; GA Reaper, Northrop,
Grumman Firescout



Kestrel Land MTI is a capability multiplier for any airborne EO/IR sensor. From large stabilised sensor turrets down to small low cost sensors, Kestrel enables operation at higher altitudes with wider coverage areas and object detection down to a few pixels in size. Kestrel can be used to enhance a wide range of airborne ISR applications, including;

  • Border Protection
  • Route Reconnaissance
  • Force Protection

Increase airborne surveillance coverage
Automatically detect people movement

Securing borders requires constant vigilance over vast areas of varied terrain. Border patrol agents must detect activity that could be linked to people smuggling, narcotics trafficking, terrorism or other border security threats.

Using airborne surveillance to detect people, agents must use a narrow field of view (FoV) which significantly reduces the area they can cover. Fatigue during long operations can also impact detection.

Kestrel Land enables border patrol agents to maintain a wider FoV, increasing the area that can be reliably covered. Automatic detection ensures vigilance is maintained.

Kestrel greatly increases the probability of detecting border security threats.


Detect insurgent activity
Protect convoy routes

Route reconnaissance is critical for protecting convoy routes and monitoring minor mountain and rural tracks, which are often used by insurgents delivering and deploying Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

Operators analysing ISR video must zoom in to detect object detail close to the route being monitored. Their eyes naturally focus on the slow moving convoy itself. During long overwatch operations, both of these make it likely that objects will be missed.

Kestrel Land automatically detects small moving objects in real-time. This enables operators to use a wider field of view, increasing the detection area. Automatic detection ensures that operator vigilance is maintained during long missions.

Kestrel greatly enhances the effectiveness of route reconnaissance missions.

Detect small movements of insurgents
Maximize situational awareness

During force protection missions, ISR operators employ a tight field of view, scanning areas for small or slow objects before moving onto the next. Full surveillance of an area can take a long time and vital intelligence can be missed or delayed.

Kestrel Land allows an operator to utilize a much larger field of view than traditionally employed on a force protection mission. This allows consistent automated object detection long before contact, turning even small unstable Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) platforms into effective wide area surveillance systems.

Kestrel can also insert object geo-locations into STANAG 4609 metadata for exploitation by third party mapping and geospatial applications.

Kestrel significantly enhances the effectiveness of force protection missions allowing the battle space manager fast and actionable real time intelligence.