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CCTV with intelligence revealed by UK's Defence.

 The latest defence surveillance can "pick out" potential insurgents in an image

UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) says will be used by soldiers within five years - a package of surveillance systems that can recognise insurgents or terrorists.

This high resolution imaging with in-built software to detect and follow the fake insurgents as they planned their covert meeting, was one of the technologies tested by DSTL during what it described as a "cops and robbers" style trial.

DSTL, which develops and tests the latest technologies for the Ministry of Defence, had members of its staff "act out" insurgent-like behaviour, while developers and and engineers took on the role of the "good guys", pursuing and monitoring them.

"You can't tell who is an insurgent by what they look like, but you can track their behaviour," explained Andrew Seedhouse, chief technologist for sensors and countermeasures at Dstl.

The surveillance equipment tested in the trial ranged from extremely high resolution digital cameras to radar and lasers.

The military twist was that these hi-tech surveillance techniques are being combined with software that can pick out unusual patterns in behaviour - such as two vehicles meeting in a concealed area.

The surveillance, DSTL says, will eventually help to "win the battle" against insurgency.

One of these could be an incredibly high-resolution camera developed by Canadian company PV Labs. Whereas most digital cameras are between eight and 15 megapixels, this camera as 128.

President and CEO Ty Shattuck explained that the camera was fitted into a casement that could be mounted on the nose of a helicopter.

"It captures a 4km by 4km image. Because it's so large there's very little chance that an area of interest will disappear from your field of view," said Mr Shattuck.

"The system captures two frames per second meaning that if something happens - if a bomb goes off in a vehicle perhaps - we can rewind it and retrace where that vehicle came from"

Hyperspectral imaging can pick out a green tank from green trees

One technology that BAE Systems trialled, known as a "hyperspectral camera", is able to analyse colour - to distinguish a camouflaged vehicle from the vegetation it is concealed within.

Gary Bishop from BAE's Advanced Technology Centre in Bristol told BBC News: "You see things with your eyes in three wavelenths, the hyperspectral camera gives you information in 10."

The system measures each wavelength of light being reflected by an object - it can see the specific type of green that is produced by chlorophyll in plants, and distinguish that from the green of paint or dye.

"It can tell a man-made object from vegetation," said Mr Bishop. "You can think of it as looking through a haystack to see the needle."

A tiny UK technology company called Eosphere has designed a system that uses differently polarised light waves - waves travelling in different directions - to identify objects by their geometry.

The company plans to combine this approach with software that would know the shape of a potential threat. A rocket launcher, for example, is a metal tube and with a very characteristic geometry, so it would scatter light polarised in one direction more than another, and the system would highlight it.

Airborne Technologies has also developed an imaging system that can measure the exact distance and dimensions of a potential target.

Laser imaging can be used to accurately measure the distance to targets

"You ping a laser pulse off a target," explained Mr Clark, "and because you can control the length of the laser pulse, you can actually look at slices out in space."

BAE is working with Austrian company Airborne Technologies to tailor the equipment so it can be fitted to aircraft.

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