Development of an Onboard Video Processing Platform for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS)

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Amount:
$149,905.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
FA8650-13-M-1638
Solitcitation Year:
2013
Solicitation Number:
2013.1
Branch:
Air Force
Award Year:
2013
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
F131-128-2370
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF131-128
Small Business Information
Blue Ridge Envisioneering Inc
14450 Broadwinged Dr., Gainesville, VA, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
616396953
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Krause
 Systems Engineer
 (703) 927-9952
 andrew@br-envision.com
Business Contact
 Edward /Zimmer
Title: President
Phone: (703) 927-0450
Email: ned@br-envision.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
ABSTRACT: In order to accommodate the transition from standard to high-definition imagery in unmanned airborne platforms, it is necessary to find a way to reduce the increased transmission bandwidth of the system. One viable solution is to provide an onboard image processing computer that tracks objects of interest and transmits only that portion of the image in high-definition. However, UAV onboard processing must fall within strict SWAP constraints. In order to meet this challenge, multiple mobile processors will be evaluated to determine which has the best balance of processing power, flexibility, ease of programmability and relevant built-in image processing capabilities. The industry standard Qseven carrier board will provide a common platform for testing multiple mobile ARM-based processors. Each processor will be first tested against multiple image processing algorithms, benchmarked for speed and throughput. Ease of programmability will be evaluated as time spent adapting a functioning x86 implementation of each algorithm over two steps, basic functionality of the algorithm and optimized algorithm using features built into the hardware such as a GPU. The results of these tests will then be evaluated to determine if there is a platform that provides the necessary processing power to perform on-board image processing for a UAV. BENEFIT: The key benefit is to preserve the ability to stream video offboard UAVs while reducing the size, weight, and power required by the harware. BRE has identified several opportunities to commercialize the technology developed under the proposed effort: 1. Near-term disaster assessment from UAV or Balloon 2. Robotic Video Applications 3. Weather-balloon borne imaging of crop yields

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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