Near the Ocean Surface Imaging through Atmospheric Turbulence
Navy SBIR 2018.1 - Topic N181-044
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - firstname.lastname@example.org
Opens: January 8, 2018 - Closes: February 7, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)
Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS435
Integrated Submarine Imaging System
The technology within this
topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR),
22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related
material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the
Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls
dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals
(FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed,
and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s)
in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement. Offerors are advised
foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to
the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
OBJECTIVE: Develop an
algorithm to remove atmospheric-caused blur and contrast reduction caused by
DESCRIPTION: Naval imaging
presents unique challenges to imaging systems operating near the ocean surface.
Some of these challenges include systems operating near the ocean surface that
experience atmospheric turbulence from differing effects such as large-scale
shear, buoyancy, and the proximity to the water surface significantly affect
interactions among scales in atmospheric boundary layer turbulent flows that do
not occur in the upper atmosphere. The imaging system algorithms may have
limited or no ability to in-situ profile the atmosphere, and any algorithm to
correct for turbulence must operate in near real-time. There has been
substantial effort in aerial or space-based turbulence reduction in imaging,
but far less effort near the ocean surface. Atmospheric turbulence causes a
reduction both in effective system resolving power and in contrast, resolution,
and these effects are not compensated. Existing efforts—both commercial and
military—focus on every part of the atmosphere except near the ocean imaging.
To improve system performance, the Navy requires innovative approaches to
reducing the impact of the atmosphere by reduction of blur due to atmospheric
effects, and reduction of the loss of contrast between target and background
due to atmospheric scatter. The Navy would like reduction to the maximum
extent possible, and prospective vendors should propose what is achievable.
Algorithm development can be supported by basic weather data such as
temperature and humidity but not by atmospheric profilers. In addition, the
algorithm must operate in near real-time. Candidate standard definition and
high definition imaging systems include visible light, short wave infrared and
thermal infrared systems. For the purposes of this research, processing of
high-definition video within 150msec on a central processing unit (CPU)- or
graphics processing unit (GPU)-based system will be sufficient. The algorithm
will be transitioned to the submarine combat system via the technical insertion
– advanced processor build (TI-APB) process.
PHASE I: Develop a concept
for an algorithm or series of algorithms to reduce the effect of atmospheric
turbulence as discussed in the topic description. Demonstrate the feasibility
of the concept via analysis or data collected with cameras provided by the
vendor. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial capabilities
description to build a prototype in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Develop and deliver
a prototype algorithm or series of algorithms for performance testing and
evaluation based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work
(SOW). These algorithms must run in real time and demonstrate reduction of
turbulence in accordance with the vendor’s proposal. The algorithms will be
tested with data provided by the Government. Prepare a Phase III development
plan to transition the technology for Navy and potential commercial use.
PHASE III DUAL USE
APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use via
the TI-APB process. The final product from Phase III will be integrated into
existing imaging systems; the company will support the transition by providing
code to the integrator and offering technical and test support.
1. Frederickson, Paul A.
"Measurements and modeling of optical turbulence in a maritime
environment.” Naval Postgraduate School Thesis, 2006. http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/41322/Frederickson_Spie06_6303.pdf?sequence=1
2. Paskyabi, Mostafa.
"Ocean near-surface boundary layer: processes and turbulence
measurements.” University of Bergen, 2010. http://web.gfi.uib.no/publikasjoner/rmo/RMO-2010-1.pdf
KEYWORDS: Submarine Imaging;
Naval Imaging; Turbulence at the Ocean Surface; Contrast Enhancement; Blur
Removal; Blur Reduction