Real-time Atmospheric Disturbance Compensation Using Hardware-Accelerated Speckle Imaging

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0006-06-C-7509
Agency Tracking Number: B064-006-0148
Amount: $99,946.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA06-T006
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
EM PHOTONICS, INCORPORATED
51 East Main Street Suite 203, Newark, DE, 19711
DUNS: 071744143
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Durbano
 Chief Hardware Architect
 (302) 456-9003
 durbano@emphotonics.com
Business Contact
 Eric Kelmelis
Title: Vice President
Phone: (302) 456-9003
Email: kelmelis@emphotonics.com
Research Institution
 LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABS
 Carmen Carrano
 7000 East Ave., L-795 P.O. Box
Livermore, CA, 94550
 (925) 422-4211
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
Abstract
Atmospheric disturbances are a major performance-limiting factor in long-range optical systems. In particular, for the Airborne Laser (ABL) the ability of distinguish targets from a long distance is crucial for mission success. Despite the progress in optics and sensor technology, blurring in long-range imaging caused by atmospheric movements and density changes will remain an issue. Digital signal processing techniques can be used to compensate for these atmospheric effects, using algorithms like the bispectrum speckle method developed by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Unfortunately, these algorithms are computationally intensive and require several seconds to process a single frame in high-end workstations, making them unsuitable for real-time video surveillance applications. We propose the development of a custom hardware processor, based on FPGA technology, which is able to implement the speckle algorithm two orders of magnitude faster than current PCs, thereby enabling real-time video feed processing. To this end, we plan to collaborate with the creators of the speckle algorithm at LLNL. Furthermore, FPGAs are uniquely suited for airborne platforms given their footprint and power consumption. For this project, we will develop a real-time atmospheric compensation solver that occupies less than 120 cubic inches and consumes less than 25 W of power.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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