A Tactical Decision Aid to Determine Optimal Times to Acquire Buried IEDs With Thermal Imaging Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W909MY-10-C-0020
Agency Tracking Number: A2-3943
Amount: $764,955.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: A08-099
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
Signature Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 346, Calumet, MI, 49913
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Reynolds
 (906) 337-3360
Business Contact
 Tracy Maki
Title: Business Manager
Phone: (906) 337-3360
Email: maki@signatureresearchinc.com
Research Institution
Many IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried near roadways and exploded days or weeks after the emplacement. Digging a hole for IED emplacement and then refilling the hole fundamentally changes the heat transfer in the disturbed soil compared with surrounding undisturbed soil. This change is persistent for days, weeks and possibly longer and provides observable thermal contrast with infrared sensors. Thermal clutter signals arising from numerous nearby objects can compete with and obscure the buried IED signal. Fortunately, basic differences in heat transfer between clutter objects and buried IEDs result in periods during the 24 hour diurnal cycle where the clutter is low and the IED signal is observable. During these periods, the resulting probability of detecting buried IEDs is highest. We propose to develop a prototype software tool, E-SEARCH that incorporates physics-based heat transfer models of disturbed soils and clutter objects and predicts when detection is most probable based on weather forecast inputs. Requiring minimal operator attention and running on standard PC platforms in less than fifteen minutes, E-SEARCH will enable the warfighters to schedule valuable sensor assets efficiently thereby minimizing wasted efforts when probability of detecting an IED is low. We believe E-SEARCH will improve warfighter survivability.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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