Integrated Sensing and Detection with Geo-Location
Air Force STTR - Topic AF02T001

TITLE: Integrated Sensing and Detection with Geo-Location

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems Technology

OBJECTIVE: Objective is to support precision weapons deployment through more accurate and flexible automated target recognition and identification.

DESCRIPTION: Object detection, recognition and geo-location is effected by various sensing modalities, including passive and active emanations, pressure waves (sound), variation in chemical concentration, and electromagnetic radiation. Originally the algorithms for sensor exploitation were physically and conceptually separate from the sensing mechanism. Subsequently, a large part of the necessary mathematical software was made to reside in a "smart sensing" receptor-processor. Improved technology now presents itself where highly parallel computations for target detection, identification and geo-location could take place within the sensing matrix itself. Further success in this area would lead to more compact and conformal sensing packages capable of delivering organized and useful targeting data instantly to the Warfighter. Parts for implementation that will bear on progress in integrated sensing include optical components, hyper-spectrally sensitive materials (HSS), photonic, electronic and hybrid circuitry, nano-mechanical devices and chemical computers. Results of received input are used in this integrated system, not only for ultimate object discrimination and geo-location, but also to activate complementary active and passive sensing modalities. A whole suite of established and innovative image-forming software can be proposed for integration in such a seamless, smart sensing configuration. These algorithms include shock-capturing, classical de-convolution, super-resolution, multi-scale and edge detection methods, multi-modal fusion, geometric processing of polarimetric SAR, brightness/motion detection, electric-magnetic vector analysis and many others. For example, thermally sensitive smart materials could initiate range-finding laser radar when a designated signature profile is verified. Research will be conducted to see how mathematical theories of adaptive sampling, scene cross-registration, jitter/rotation compensation and sensor placement can be put into effect directly on the sensing substrate. If this is so, the comprehensive system will be able to employ an intrinsic computational capability to control and direct its sensing assets. The research performer should develop familiarity with applications and methodologies of importance to the Air Force, and by the end of Phase I as is a convincing road map or plan for the eventual technical insertion of the results of the project.

PHASE I: Extend the state-of-the-art in one or more critical areas of integrating sensing with computation and control, with published foundational achievements. These innovations could be in the topical areas listed above or other basic technologies. Through simulations and analysis of simplified scenarios that still contain essential elements of the real-world challenge, instill high confidence in eventual feasibility of the methods.

PHASE II: Develop a realistic integrated framework based on the methodologies from Phase I. Extend the framework and attendant algorithms to deal with several of the exigencies and disruptions that arise in a combat environment that make multi-mode sensing necessary. Document a plan showing how these algorithms increasingly can be integrated into actual sensing hardware and materials, with a gain, not a loss, in versatility and reliability. This can best be accomplished through a broadly-based prototype system that exhibits superior sensing response and data utilization under a wide range of ambient parameters.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: A wide variety of sensing devices is part and parcel of consumer products as well as manufacturing systems. The miniaturization achieved through DoD research in electronic and mechanical systems will lead to greater power efficiency and make flexible remote control in the industrial environment easier to achieve. These areas have been predicted to stimulate revenues in the billions of dollars within the next ten years.


1. "Special Purpose Hardware for Discrete Fourier Transform Implementation", Michael Conner and Richard Tolimieri, Parallel Computing 20 (Elsevier, Amsterdam).

2. "Distributed Detection and Data Fusion", P.K. Varshney, Springer-Verlag New York, 1997.

3. "Non-Linear Filtering and Sensor Management", K. Kastella, ERIM Technical Report 463500-1-F, Ann Arbor 1996.

KEYWORDS: Target Detection, Geo-location, Multi-spectral Imaging, Smart Sensing

DoD Notice:   Between January 2 and February 28, 2002, you may talk directly with the Topic Author(s) to ask technical questions about the topics. Their contact information is listed below.   For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed after February 28 , when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
Topic Author:   Jon Sjogren

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