Millimeter Wave Imagery for Maritime Domain Awareness and Force Protection

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
2925 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
David Zimdars
Manager of Terahertz Rese
(734) 864-5639
Business Contact:
Robin Risser
Chief Financial Officer
(734) 864-5605
Research Institute:
We propose to develop intereferometric imaging algorithms and a hardware architecture for a maritime millimeter-wave (mm-wave) imaging system with processing methods that can be implemented in real-time using hardware acceleration. We propose to extend the interferometric methods developed in the terahertz spectrum for short range stand-off detection of suicide bombers and radio spectrum for astronomical imaging. Interferometric imaging allows for sub-wavelength resolution with far fewer detectors than a focal plane array, and can be implemented with passive sensors. We will develop a suite of image processing algorithms that can be implemented in hardware for real-time processing on mm-wave imagery; adapt the algorithms developed for THz near-field interferometric imaging to the mm-wave range; and develop algorithms for super-resolution up to ~l/10. We will adapt the feature identification and extraction algorithms for THz interferometric images to mm-wave images. We will use a 100GHz interferometric imaging testbed to demonstrate key algorithms. We will specify antenna geometry, number of detectors, signal processing architecture, and specify a prototype design. We will examine candidate digitizers that are currently used with the THz interferometric imaging and/or radio astronomy systems and identify components that can be configured to digitize at video-rate speeds. BENEFITS: Interferometric passive mm-wave imaging can play a significant role in maritime domain awareness, detection of terrorist threats, and navigation due to its ability to produce images with centimeter resolution over distances of hundreds of meters to kilometers. It can penetrate haze and fog and has the ability to image sub-surface revealing concealed weapons or improvised explosive devices. In phase II, we will implement a prototype passive mm-wave imaging system with the hardware accelerated algorithms, and demonstrate the capability for real time imaging. The imager will provide anti-terrorism/force protection and situational awareness imaging for shipboard application. Beyond the Navy, the mm-wave imaging technology will have applications in homeland security, search and rescue, and navigation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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