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A Compact, Multimode LADAR For Target Identification Based Upon Joint Optimization of Optical and Computational Resources
Title: Chief Operations Officer
Phone: (406) 920-1339
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (303) 818-1653
Bridger Photonics (BP) and collaborative partner Montana State University (MSU) propose to utilize feature specific imaging in concert with an innovative actively stabilized FM-CW chirped laser radar source for multi-mode target identification and classification. Feature specific (or compressive) imaging systems project their information directly onto a low-dimensional, predetermined subspace, which is ideally suited for target identification or classification tasks. While such systems have been constructed for 2D passive imaging, they have yet to be extended to active 3D imaging, where they are critical due to the shear amount of information inherent in obtaining the object representation. Under the proposed effort, BP and MSU will work to validate 3D feature specific imaging concepts and provide brassboard demonstrations of a multi-modal laser radar sensor showing the competitive advantages of the technology over conventional approaches. At the end of the effort the team will outline a design for a commercial ready prototype device that could be built and flown with follow on (Phase III) funding. Ideally, the active, multimode sensor would operate at approximately 20 km standoff distances, and provide 30 m fields of view and 0.15 m down range and cross range resolutions of the scene. BENEFIT: On completion of the Air Force Phase II project efforts, Bridger Photonics will have a high-speed, compact, laser-based imaging system with high-resolution ranging and target ID capabilities. The imaging system will be capable of measuring the distance and vibrational signature of targets at short and long ranges (out to 20 km). Because the Bridger system uses feature specific imaging, it has inherent advantages in terms of update rate and hardware/memory resource allocation. Bridger’s use of telecom components allows the system to be highly cost competitive, eye-safe and durable. Bridger Photonics envisions that it will sell these sensors in a variety of military markets ranging from the F35 Joint Strike Fighter to unmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator. The company envisions both machine vision and autonomous navigation commercial market sales.
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