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SBIR Phase I: High Resolution, Low Cost, Compact 3D Imaging System

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Bridger Photonics, Inc
2310 University Way, Bldg 4-4 Bozeman, MT -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: SBIR Phase I: High Resolution, Low Cost, Compact 3D Imaging System
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0945805
Award Amount: $150,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will demonstrate a novel, three-dimensional (3D) imaging system concept that combines cutting-edge high-resolution, frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) Laser Radar (LADAR) with powerful Feature Specific Imaging (FSI) techniques. Many applications including autonomous navigation, object recognition, and machine vision would benefit greatly from fast, high-resolution 3D imaging sensors. Unfortunately, existing 3D imaging systems cannot offer the range resolution, speed, or cost effectiveness for these applications due to required specialized hardware such as fast-focal-plane arrays or mechanical scanning components. The combination of broadband FMCW LADAR technology and advanced FSI techniques will enable a 3D imaging system with unrivalled range resolution, no moving parts, and a single detector element, and it will still offer comparable size, frame rates, and cost as current state-of-the-art 2D imaging solutions. The research objectives for this project include demonstrating the critical components and performance of the FMCW LADAR unit, and combining this unit with an advanced FSI physical design and algorithm. This combined system will be used to demonstrate a single pixel 3D imaging system. Lastly, the feasibility of a practical imaging system based on this concept will be assessed. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the development of a practical, low-cost, high-resolution 3D imaging system that has applications including industrial machine vision, vehicle collision avoidance systems, security and surveillance imaging systems, autonomous navigation and object recognition units for robots. The system will therefore improve the quality and efficiency of manufacturing, improve safety on the roadways and the workplace, provide reliable object presence and scene change information for crucial security needs, and advance the perception capabilities of robots. Presently available 3D imaging systems are far too large, slow and costly for these applications. By partnering with established industry leaders, the proposed technology will be developed for these applications. By building key industry partnerships and targeting ideal entry markets, estimated revenues from this product line will grow to nearly $30M by 2014.

Principal Investigator:

Brant Kaylor

Business Contact:

Brant Kaylor
Small Business Information at Submission:

Bridger Photonics
112 E. Lincoln Bozeman, MT 59715

EIN/Tax ID: 205926537
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No