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Structure from Motion

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
21st Century Technologies Inc.
6011 West Courtyard Drive Bldg 5, Suite 300 Austin, TX -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Structure from Motion
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8651-05-C-0117
Award Amount: $623,869.00


The Real-Time Structure From Motion (RTSFM) system combines state-of-the-art techniques and novel methods to compute 3D models of battlefields in real time from calibrated image sequences. Unlike most computational stereo approaches, the work is tailored for long sequences of calibrated imagery under near-planar small-baseline motion - sequences typically generated from loitering unmanned aerial vehicles. The stereo correspondence approach is based on simulated annealing, a stochastic iterative optimization technique, and depth estimates are also influenced recursively by previous estimates. An abstract 3D surface model based on a hybrid Voronoi-BSPT (binary space partition tree) representation is incrementally generated and refined, enabling low-bandwidth incremental transmission off the aerial platform. RTSFM is a combined hardware/software system with some critical system components implemented in field-programmable gate arrays. This approach facilitates novel methods for optimizing image frame processing order, for seeding stereo correspondence calculations, and for recursive camera parameter estimate refinement. Together these reduce the computational requirements of the system such that accurate real-time 3D modeling is feasible. RTSFM directly increases the warfighter's ability to execute combat operations by improved situational awareness. It also enables improved approaches for automatic target recognition, operations against aboveground and underground structures, battlefield damage assessment, and many other tasks.

Principal Investigator:

Thayne Coffman
Principal Scientist

Business Contact:

Darrin Taylor
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

11675 Jollyville Road, Suite 300 Austin, TX 78759

EIN/Tax ID: 541719551
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No