Sense and Avoid Insect Eye/Neuromorphic Sensor System

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
Electro-Optics Systems Division, 1845 West 205th Street, Torrance, CA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Tin Aye
Technology Vice-President
(310) 320-3088
Business Contact:
Gordon Drew
Chief Financial Officer
(310) 320-3088
Research Institution:
ABSTRACT: Addressing the Air Force need for an insect-inspired system for see-and-avoid applications onboard remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to advance the development of the new See and Avoid Insect Eye/Neuromorphic (SAVIEN) sensor system proven feasible in Phase I. The SAVIEN system is based on the unique combination of a staring multiaperture superposition compound eye with a high-sensitivity integrated IR and visible photodetector array and a neural network processor. SAVIEN detects, locates, and declares mid-air collision threats with high angular resolution over a large field of view, using infrared signal detection and data processing supported by a simple neural network for long-range detection with low false alarm rate. The insect-inspired design matches the stringent cost, size, weight, and power requirements of small-scale RPA, and represents a paradigm shift from traditional camera-based approaches. In Phase II, we will develop a full SAVIEN prototype system based on the Phase I prototype and implement specific improvements to enhance system performance. We will optimize and fabricate a SAVIEN prototype that satisfies the requirements and interfaces to Air Force systems and collision-avoidance algorithms. We will test the performance of the Phase II prototype and prepare for ground and flight demonstrations. BENEFIT: Currently restricted to flight under 400 ft above ground and away from aircraft traffic, UAVs are no-longer limited to the support of intelligence and military operations. Unmanned aircraft are making their way into such commercial arenas as aerial photography, land surveying and crops monitoring. Once the regulations governing UAV flight in the National Airspace (NAS) are in place in 2015, the demand for reliable autonomous see-and-avoid systems will surge. Because of its compact size, lightweight, and low cost, the SAVIEN system can be installed in small remotely controlled aerial vehicles for applications such as police surveillance and traffic control. Its low cost will also make it suitable for collision avoidance in automobiles, boats, and aircraft.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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