Active Imaging through Fog
Navy STTR 2018.A - Topic N18A-T021
ONR - Mr. Steve Sullivan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Opens: January 8, 2018 - Closes: February 7, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)
AREA(S): Information Systems, Sensors, Weapons
PROGRAM: PEO IWS 2; PEO IWS 3; SEWIP POR; SPADE POR; CESARS FNC
Develop and demonstrate an active EO/IR imaging system that employs joint
optimization of multiple laser illumination characteristics (e.g., pulse
temporal structure, repetition rate, beam spatial profile, polarization, and
quantum statistical composition, etc.) together with advanced processing
techniques to enhance operational range in dense maritime fog by a factor at
least 10 times greater than that of current active imaging systems.
The U.S. Fleet Forces are often present in congested waterways throughout the
world for a variety of humanitarian and military purposes. EO/IR imaging
systems are often employed in such settings to maintain SA as well as for
target recognition, tracking, and identification. However, EO/IR imagery is
highly susceptible to degradation caused by scattering from ubiquitous,
water-based aerosols. Imaging through dense fog is the quintessential hard
problem, as strong scattering generates a large, uninformative background,
while information-carrying ballistic photons are severely attenuated. The goal
of active imaging is to augment target illumination intensity, while
selectively detecting returned ballistic photons against extraneous background.
PHASE I: Determine feasibility of an active
EO/IR system with jointly optimized illumination, sensing, and processing to
achieve at least an improvement 10 times greater operationally useful range
where a target can be identified compared to existing active imaging systems in
the presence of dense maritime fog . Identify key risk elements to achieve
this (10X) improvement objective and perform suitable simulations and/or
experiments to mitigate these risk factors. Prepare a publication-quality
technical document detailing the system design and performance characteristics. Develop a Phase II
II: Construct and demonstrate an active EO/IR imaging system based on the Phase
I study. Conduct quantitative measurements and analysis to verify the
purported 10X or greater improvement in operational range. The experimental
validation can be performed in a laboratory environment that simulates the
obscuring environment. Prepare a publication-quality document detailing the
Phase II results.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Extend the
technology to a full system prototype by optimizing the hardware and processing
demonstrated in Phase II. Refine the design to minimize size, weight, and
power (SWaP) consumption while introducing mechanical robustness against shock
and vibration .
Demonstrate the performance of the technology through extensive dockside and
possibly shipboard testing. Provide support in transitioning the technology.
Provide manuals and training materials.
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Active Imaging; LIDAR; LADAR; Fog; Electro-optical; Infrared; Polarization;
Multi-spectral; Sensor Fusion; Autonomous; Real-time; Advanced Processing;
Intelligence; Surveillance; Reconnaissance; Situational Awareness