ImageNAV-LZ: Autonomous Landing Zone Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-13-M-0094
Agency Tracking Number: O123-AU3-1191
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD12-AU3
Solicitation Number: 2012.3
Small Business Information
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000, Woburn, MA, -
DUNS: 859244204
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Ranga Narayanaswami
 Sr Grp Lead - Signal Exploitation
 (781) 933-5355
Business Contact
 Jay Miselis
Title: Director of Finance
Phone: (781) 933-5355
Research Institution
Small Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (SUAS) are well suited for ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) applications. The mission effectiveness of SUAS for ISR can be improved if the SUAS can perch at vantage points, continuing to perform ISR while conserving power. One of the primary bottlenecks to autonomous perching and re-launching is the ability to identify suitable landing zones. The complexity of the urban landscape, combined with the limited processing power on board the SUAS, make this a challenging problem. Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) in partnership with Brigham Young University (BYU) proposes ImageNav-LZ for autonomous landing zone detection for SUAS. ImageNav-LZ utilizes an innovative spiral search strategy starting just outside the maximum grazing angle of a target surveillance region. As it continues on the spiral, candidate landing-zones are identified when they cast a shadow on the surveillance area. The candidate landing zones are then evaluated for suitability for landing (area, terrain type, slope), suitability for ISR (line of sight visibility of target area) and suitability for re-launch (potential energy, path for take-off, vertical drop etc.). ImageNav-LZ spiral search strategies and efficient vision processing algorithms will significantly reduce the computational burden for landing zone determination.

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

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