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Biologically-inspired Integrated Vision System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-14-C-0108
Agency Tracking Number: F12B-T03-0027
Amount: $2,003,754.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF12-BT03
Solicitation Number: 12.B
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-07-07
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-10-09
Small Business Information
2130 E Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91107-3628
United States
DUNS: 108540340
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Francis Reininger
 (626) 578-0626
Business Contact
 Ella Makarkina
Phone: (626) 578-0662
Research Institution
 University of Arizona
 Dr. Charles Higgins Dr. Charles Higgins
Department of Neuroscience 1040 E 4th Street, G-S Rm 611
Tucson, AZ 85721-0077
United States

 (520) 621-6629
 Nonprofit College or University

ABSTRACT: The U.S. Air Force has a need to develop a new class of advanced, wide field of view (WFOV) imaging sensors that sample the radiation field in multiple modes: spectral, temporal, polarization, and detailed object shape. These multimodal sensors are to be deployed on high altitude drones to enhance their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Smaller versions of the sensor are to be integrated with autonomous micro-air vehicles (MAV) to provide guidance, navigation, control and motion detection information within cluttered environments. The Spectral Imaging Laboratory (SPILAB) has teamed with the University of Arizona's Department of Neuroscience and College of Optical Sciences to develop two types of bio-inspired multimodal sensors, one operating in the visible wavelength regime and the other operating in the infrared wavelength regime. The visible sensor couples a WFOV compound array optical system to a division of focal plane polarimeter with 4 types of broadband, elliptical micro-polarizers designed to optimally sample the Stokes vector. The infrared sensor couples a cryo-cooled infrared focal plane to a WFOV compound array optical system with a foveal region that can be used for multi-spectral, multi-polarization imaging. Both sensors will have a neuromorphic processing capability designed on the basis of known functional connections in the visual brain areas of insects and crotalid snakes. The integrated system is expected to provide high-speed motion detection, targeted distance information and camouflage deciphering against a cluttered background in daylight or darkness. BENEFIT: The proposed multimodal integrated vision system can provide the US Air Force with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities on various aircraft. The wide angle optics coupled to a fast neuromorphic focal plane can enhance the guidance, navigation and control of seekers and autonomous vehicles. The infrared multi-spectral polarimeter can be used for detecting buried improvise explosive devices (IEDs). Commercial applications include surveillance, robotics, machine vision, and high end automobile collision avoidance systems, which can benefit from motion sensing, autonomous navigation, and distortion free, wide angle viewing without the need for focus adjustment.

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

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