High Efficiency Space Infrared Data Compression

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-14-M-0045
Agency Tracking Number: F131-070-0360
Amount: $149,978.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2014
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-070
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
11150 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 820, Los Angeles, CA, -
DUNS: 112136572
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hai Wei
 Director of Vision Technologies
 (310) 473-1500
Business Contact
 Joseph Yadegar
Title: EVP of R&D
Phone: (310) 473-1500
Email: joseph@utopiacompression.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Space based Infrared (IR) system generates massive amount of IR surveillance data, which strains the limited communication bandwidth, storage and computational resources onboard space or airborne platforms. This poses a great challenge, especially as the spectral and spatial resolutions of sensors keep increasing and more of the sensors are deployed. In this project, UtopiaCompression (UC), in collaboration with Lockheed Martin Mission System and Training, proposes to develop a novel High Efficiency Image Compression (HEIC) technology, capable of intelligently reducing the space IR data size to meet the bandwidth constraints while preserving critical information required for follow-up image exploitation within an operationally significant timeline. With a unique formulation of the lossless compression problem, HEIC utilizes advanced machine learning techniques to form accurate prediction for maximum de-correlation performance and seamlessly integrates lossless approach and multiple near-lossless approaches in a single and scalable framework. The anticipated project deliverable - HEIC compression system will offer superior compression performance and support coding modes including lossless, perception-lossless, and region-of-interest lossless, etc. Phase I effort will focus on algorithmic development, performance benchmarking, systems engineering and analysis to identity the best designs and implement the corresponding compression software prototype suitable for the Space based IR system. BENEFIT: The proposed High Efficiency Image Compression (HEIC) technology will materially benefit Air Force objectives by enabling the compression and transmission of massive space IR surveillance data in real-time over existing communications links to tactical and theater users and imagery analysts without reduction in image accuracy/quality. By enabling the efficient use of IR data captured from the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), UC"s technology will support critical mission areas including missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battle-space awareness. DEFENSE APPLICATIONS: The Air Force Space Command"s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) serves as the primary acquisition program for our HEIC technology. Following the Phase I effort, and while proceeding with Phases II and III development, UC will work closely with both the Air Force and prime contractor partners to gather all the technical requirements and develop business use cases for applying the HEIC technology to the Space Based Infrared System. In addition, UC has identified numerous product opportunities within the US Military"s modernization effort centering on implementing C4ISR (Command, Control, Computers, Communication, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) technologies. The military/government segment of the surveillance equipment market is projected to reach $16.1 billion by 2015, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%. Multiple DoD programs would benefit from UC"s technologies with the addition of space surveillance IR data to existent data streams and optimizations of overall data transmission of all data types with future extensions of UC"s product offering. The UC team is particularly optimistic about the value of integrating UC"s technology into the Airborne Cross Cuing Exploitation Systems Hyperspectral (ACES HY) program. Other programs of interest include the forthcoming AFRL STROEB II RDUCE program, NASA's Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), NASA's Hyperion, and extensions of the Airborne Real-time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance (ARCHER) programs. COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS AND APPLICATIONS: By enabling accurate and efficient compression of space IR data, UC presents a highly attractive value proposition to developers of sensor applications in a variety of commercial markets including Sensing and Surveillance Markets, among others. The UC team is confident that there are numerous commercial entry points for the technology within these Market sectors. Because of the cross-over between military and commercial verticals in these market sectors, including many shared system requirements and manufacturing partners, UC has focused on these markets for initial commercial entry. (1) SENSING: Uses of multi-band infrared in the Sensing vertical are diverse and increasing as technological advances such as UC"s proposed offering create better user experiences and enable easier storage, retrieval and manipulation of the resulting rich data. There are several overlapping sectors within this market that present attractive commercial opportunities for UC"s enabling product offering, including Remote Sensing, Environmental Sensing and Terrestrial Sensing. These are all highly attractive markets with significant growth projected if technology offerings like UC"s are made available. At a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%, the Remote Sensing market will grow to more than $9.9 billion by the end of 2012, with a CAGR of 6.3%. The global market for Environmental Sensing technologies is projected to reach $13 billion in 2014, with a CAGR of 5.2%. Applications within this market include climate change, sea level movements, population drifting and others. Terrestrial Sensing technologies are projected to reach $3.4 billion in 2014. Specific applications in this market include mineralogy surveys, agricultural health and pattern analysis and land management surveys, among others. (2) SURVEILLANCE: The worldwide Surveillance Market is projected to reach $139.2 billion in 2015 with a CAGR of 11.7%. The largest end-user segment, industrial/commercial, which includes equipment used in law enforcement surveillance, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% to reach $94 billion by 2015. In this sector, applications using multi-spectra and hyper-spectra imaging are largely only now beginning to emerge due to cost and data handling considerations. UC"s HEIC technology will be an enabling one in this market and stands to gather a large share of the customer base.

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

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