Small, Lightweight, Multimode Ladar for High-ConfidenceTargeting and ISR Missions

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-1559
Agency Tracking Number: F083-149-0169
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-149
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
10184 W. Belleview Avenue, Littleton, CO, 80127
DUNS: 028110716
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kent Hill
 Senior Scientist
 (303) 933-2200
Business Contact
 Martin O'Brien
Title: President
Phone: (303) 933-2200
Research Institution
The military tactics of our current environment—asymmetric warfare—demand effective targeting and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Target identification confidence can be greatly enhanced by interrogating and evaluating several, independent, target features. These include: surface reflectivity, surface type (metal vs. organic), target 3D structure, target 2D image and surface vibrations indicative of target type and motion. Dedicating a separate ladar to each, or even two, functions is size, weight, power and cost prohibitive—especially for airborne platforms. Ophir proposes to develop a small, lightweight and power-efficient ladar capable of operating in all of these modes (2D imaging, 3D imaging, Degree of Polarization (DoP) imaging, and vibrometry). Ophir will complete a trade study analyses to determine the optimal ladar system design and perform a proof-of-concept demonstration of the chosen ladar architecture. In addition, data processing architectures capable of exploiting multiple, independent target signatures for rapid, high confidence target identification will be investigated. In addition to manned and unmanned air vehicle military uses of the multifunction ladar, the civilian and commercial uses for the multimode ladar include Homeland Defense, support of civil authorities, NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey and NOAA. BENEFIT: The main benefit of a multimode ladar is to increase the confidence in military airborne targeting, and ISR. A multimode sensor that captures three independent target signatures– imaging (2D and 3D), Degree of Polarization (DoP) imaging and vibrometry-provides a higher level of confidence of identification of ground objects from air platforms, than a single sensor. In addition, a multimode sensor with several sensing modalities enables a reduction in the number of sensors needed on an airborne platform, thereby, minimizing sensor weight, size, and power consumption. The multimode ladar also benefits civilian, commercial applications such as using the ladar for Department of Homeland Security for UAV border patrol and SBInet pole-mounted, sensor pods for border surveillance. The ladar would also be useful in aiding civilian authorities in locating and identifying targets for law enforcement, and search and rescue due to the ability to use imaging, polarimetry and vibrometry to aid in improved identification. The missions of the U.S. Geological Survey and NoAA to classify terrain and objects would also benefit from the multimode ladar.

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

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