Structure from Motion

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-05-C-0117
Agency Tracking Number: F041-170-1026
Amount: $747,729.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: AF04-170
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
21ST CENTURY TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
11675 Jollyville Road, Suite 300, Austin, TX, 78759
DUNS: 158034665
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Thayne Coffman
 Principal Scientist
 (512) 342-0010
 tcoffman@21technologies.com
Business Contact
 Darrin Taylor
Title: Vice President
Phone: (512) 342-0010
Email: dtaylorz@21technologies.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The Real-Time Structure From Motion (RTSFM) system combines state-of-the-art techniques and novel methods to compute 3D models of battlefields in real time from calibrated image sequences. Unlike most computational stereo approaches, the work is tailored for long sequences of calibrated imagery under near-planar small-baseline motion – sequences typically generated from loitering unmanned aerial vehicles. The stereo correspondence approach is based on simulated annealing, a stochastic iterative optimization technique, and depth estimates are also influenced recursively by previous estimates. An abstract 3D surface model based on a hybrid Voronoi-BSPT (binary space partition tree) representation is incrementally generated and refined, enabling low-bandwidth incremental transmission off the aerial platform. RTSFM is a combined hardware/software system with some critical system components implemented in field-programmable gate arrays. This approach facilitates novel methods for optimizing image frame processing order, for seeding stereo correspondence calculations, and for recursive camera parameter estimate refinement. Together these reduce the computational requirements of the system such that accurate real-time 3D modeling is feasible. RTSFM directly increases the warfighter’s ability to execute combat operations by improved situational awareness. It also enables improved approaches for automatic target recognition, operations against aboveground and underground structures, battlefield damage assessment, and many other tasks.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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