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Compact LWIR Imager and Snapshot HSI for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using SAFIRE Pixelated Filter Arrays

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-20-P-0442
Agency Tracking Number: F192-027-0768
Amount: $149,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF192-027
Solicitation Number: 19.2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-03-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-12-06
Small Business Information
4 Fourth Avenue
Burlington, MA 01803
United States
DUNS: 047627732
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Marsha J Fox
 Principal Scienctist / Vice President
 (781) 273-4770
 mfox@spectral.com
Business Contact
 Marsha J. Fox
Phone: (781) 273-4770
Email: mfox@spectral.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Small, unmanned aerial system platforms (SUAS) carrying intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sensors are becoming ubiquitous in military and intelligence operations. Panchromatic, multispectral, and thermal cameras are used routinely. Compact hyperspectral imaging (HSI) systems provide a new layer of information about material properties that aid in detection and characterization of objects on the ground, including decoys and camouflage. Long-wave Infrared (LWIR) HSI combines the day-night operational capability of thermal imaging with the material characterization of HSI. SSI will develop a compact, gimbal-mounted, 36 channel, snapshot LWIR HSI system, spanning a 7.6 to 11 micron bandpass, for SUAS operation, using our cutting-edge Superpixel Array Filter for InfraREd (SAFIRE) technology. SAFIRE is a pixelated array of narrow band filters matched in size to the pixels of a LWIR camera focal plane array (FPA). The SAFIRE array is mounted inside a cryo-cooler in close proximity to the FPA, producing both hyperspectral and high-resolution images in every frame. The images have sensitivity equivalent to the best currently existing LWIR HSI sensors, in a package the size of the thermal camera. This performance is needed to characterize a wide variety of target materials in a highly cluttered, night-time ground scene, and through moderate haze and smoke.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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