Surfzone Optical Imaging
Navy SBIR 2020.1 - Topic N201-028
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - email@example.com
Opens: January 14, 2020 - Closes: February 26, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)
PROGRAM: PMS 495, Mine Warfare Systems Program Office
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 3.5 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.
Develop a capability to image through waves and ocean turbulence in shallow
coastal waters from small surface ships and/or airborne platforms.
The Navy and Coastal Battlefield and Reconnaissance Analysis (COBRA) program is
seeking innovative approaches to perform optical imaging in surf zones, and
through the air water interface. Optically-based mine detection sensors face
exacting challenges in forming images of sufficient quality for accurate object
detection and discrimination through the air-water interface. Current technical
approaches are unable to avoid the effects of the surface on target imagery.
This R&D solution will mitigate the surface effects prior to and/or in the
DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and significantly improve mission
effectiveness. Specifically, the presence of non-regular and breaking waves
result in caustic bands and significant image distortion due to
lensing/de-lensing, and scattering and opacity due to white caps and foam. All
of these effects are time variant, creating an extra level of complexity. This
topic is soliciting hardware and software approaches to addressing these
challenges. Software and hardware solutions will be form-fit-function
compatible with the COBRA Mine Warfare (MIW) sensor. Successful proposals may
address either or both lensing/de-lensing and/or scattering, although priority
will be given to solutions that address the full problem. Hybrid approaches are
expected for the full solution. For example, physical models have been
developed and used to correct for caustic bands and lensing/de-lensing; however,
they do not explicitly address scattering due to surf and foam. A hybrid
approach may combine such a physical model with techniques developed for
imaging in a scattering medium such as structured illumination or pseudorandom
Develop a concept for surf zone imaging through waves and ocean turbulence in
shallow coastal waters from small surface ships and/or airborne platforms.
Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposal approach through a combination of
analytical modeling and bread boarding activities with the goal of validating
the analytical model through breadboard testing. Identify areas of technical
risk and a path to retiring each risk. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will
include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build
a prototype solution in Phase II.
Design, develop, and deliver an advanced prototype for surf zone imaging.
Conduct functional testing of the prototype-imaging sensor in a contractor
laboratory environment and facilitate subsequent developmental testing in a
representative field environment (i.e., in a surf zone). Integrate the data
output and/or DSP algorithms into existing automated detection algorithms for
performance assessment. Develop a Phase III plan.
DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Government in transitioning the surf-imaging
tool for Navy use. Dual use opportunities include coastal and surf zone survey
and mapping and coastal search and rescue operations.
1. Wu, Y. and
Shroff, H. “Faster, sharper and deeper: structured illumination microscopy for
biological imaging.” Nature Methods, 15, 2018.
B., Mullen, L. and Muth, J. “Modulated pulse laser with pseudorancom coding
capabilities for underwater ranging, detection, and imaging.” Appl. Opt., Vol.
50, No. 33, 2011. https://www.osapublishing.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-50-33-6168
Surf Zone Imaging; Fluid Lensing; Through Wave Imaging; Mine Detection;
Structured Illumination in I’s a Scattering Medium; Pseudorandom Code