SBIR Phase II: CLEAR-View - A Cost Effective Thermal Imaging Sensor
National Science Foundation
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K&A Wireless, LLC
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AbstractThis NSF SBIR Phase II project aims to develop and produce a novel suite of algorithms to enhance the performance of thermal imagers, offering real-time solutions in the automotive, surveillance and other segments of the thermal imaging market. The proposed algorithm is integrated with noise-infested, uncooled microbolometer infrared cameras, elevating their performance and offering manufacturing-cost reductions while adding new features and capabilities. At the heart of the approach is a Scene-Based NonUniformity Correction (SBNUC) algorithm, which works to correct the fixed-pattern noise resulting from nonuniform detector-to-detector responses in the focal-pane array. The novel SBNUC approach relies on exploiting the presence of minute amounts of scene/camera motion in a video sequence, naturally present in almost all applications, to algebraically extract the nonuniformity-noise parameters in a dynamic fashion, without the need for a mechanical shutter, as done conventionally. This approach improves the camera's reliability. If successfully commercialized, the largest market is in the automotive sector, where the lower cost and improved performance of the device can potentially lead to tens of millions of dollars from new installs of collision-avoidance systems in cars and trucks. The enhanced features and lower costs offered by this technology also offer the potential of expanding the use of thermal imaging in other applications. In the firefighting market segment, equipping every firefighter with a thermal imager will reduce the number of fatalities due to smoke inhalation, heat, and response efficiency. In security applications, more information will be delivered at a higher level of quality.
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