TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information Systems, Sensors
OBJECTIVE: To develop and demonstrate innovative advanced tactical facial recognition technologies at ranges of 650 meters to 1 kilometer to enhance tactical situation awareness and support positive identification of persons of interest. The tactical facial recognition technologies need to be capable of being reduced to man-portable size, weight, and power (SWAP) requirements. While this effort is focused on ground tactical applications, the expandability to airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) applications is desired.
DESCRIPTION: The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) requires the capability to identify hostile persons with a high degree of accuracy in a short period of time from communications disadvantaged locations. USSOCOM has a requirement for man-portable tactical facial recognition at a distance up to 1 kilometer. Emerging advanced facial recognition algorithms are demonstrating improved performance against non-ideal facial images, with further technology development ongoing for more robust performance with unconstrained facial images (examples include: occlusion, facial hair, bandana, hijab), face capture and extraction, and streaming video processing. Tactical facial recognition at long range present additional technical challenges requiring development and integration of multiple diverse technologies, including optical systems (for example: optical resolution, focus, aberrations), imaging sensors (for example: number of pixels, noise), atmospheric effects correction, super-resolution enhancement, motion/jitter stabilization/compensation, processing power, automated and user-friendly controls and display (for example: tablet, smartphone), and man-portability (SWAP, ruggedness).
PHASE I: The objective of this technology pursuit is to conduct a thorough technology feasibility study, including an analysis of the critical technical factors, constraints, and relationships affecting long-range facial recognition performance, with a top-level integrated system design. The study should identify/demonstrate the critical prototype technologies and scalability needed to achieve a man-portable SWAP form factor. The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough technology feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space. The feasibility study should investigate all the known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technical options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provide at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firms(s) will be selected for Phase II.
PHASE II: The Phase II effort shall develop a detailed design and conduct a scalable prototype demonstration of all critical technologies and attributes. The design development path to a ruggedized man-portable operational capability will be detailed.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Long range facial recognition technologies have dual-use applications beyond the Department of Defense, including law enforcement and security.
- “National Institute of Standards and Technology Face Recognition Challenges and Evaluations”: http://www.nist.gov/itl/iad/ig/facechallenges.cfm
KEYWORDS: Facial Recognition, Long Range Facial Recognition, Long Range Biometrics