Advanced Multi-Frame Blind Deconvolution for Imaging in Daylight and Strong Turbulence Conditions

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9451-11-M-0026
Agency Tracking Number: F103-017-0617
Amount: $99,794.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-017
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
5434 E. Burns St., Tucson, AZ, -
DUNS: 828069190
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 E. Hege
 Senior Scientist
 (520) 907-1857
Business Contact
 Michael Hart
Title: President
Phone: (520) 419-6401
Research Institution
We will develop new computational techniques to extend the reach of large ground-based optical systems, enabling high resolution imaging of satellites under daylight conditions. Current state-of-the-art systems, such as the 3.6 m AEOS telescope, dramatically underperform in such conditions because of strong turbulence generated by solar heating. Our approach will exploit a priori physical constraints on the imaging process that have hitherto not been incorporated or not fully exploited in MFBD algorithms. The new algorithm, which may be used with seeing-limited data or as an adjunct to partial compensation with adaptive optics, will restore imaging to the diffraction limit even under the extreme conditions of daylight observing. We will develop a numerical simulation to explore the added value of the following constraints: * Exploitation of temporal coherence in high-cadence images through an extension to a multi-layer frozen flow turbulence model. * Inclusion of simultaneous wave-front sensor information. * Constraints imposed by ratios of image spectra and by observed"zeros"in the moduli of spectra of the object and point-spread functions. * Constraints imposed through polarization and wavelength diversity imaging, and the use of multiple telescopes. In addition, we will where possible assess the performance of each constraint by evaluating the Cramer-Rao lower bounds on the variance of estimated parameters. BENEFIT: Benefits to the government are the ability to make high resolution images of satellites from ground-based optical surveillance facilities even in daylight conditions. This dramatically reduces the typical wait time to acquire an observation of a particular satellite since it relieves the requirement to wait for a particular geometrical configuration with respect to the sun. Commercial applications include: * Extending the sensitivity and range of airborne EO/IR ISR systems. * Post-processing of astronomical images taken with partial compensation using adaptive optics, thus allowing higher resolution observations at shorter wavelengths. * Image sharpening in the movie and TV industry.

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

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