Extended Range Optical Underwater Imaging

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-05-M-0006
Agency Tracking Number: N042-176-0016
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: N04-176
Solicitation Number: 2004.2
Small Business Information
11805 North Creek Parkway S., Suite 113, Bothell, WA, 98011
DUNS: 801518747
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steve Tidwell
 Principal Investigator
 (425) 482-1100
Business Contact
 Dennis Lowenthal
Title: VP of Research & Development
Phone: (425) 482-1100
Email: dennis.lowenthal@aculight.com
Research Institution
The Navy needs a compact extended range underwater imaging system that can image through > 6 attenuation lengths with 0.25" resolution. Present systems are limited by scattering to ~ 5 attenuation lengths. To meet the need, we propose a compact, adaptive raster scanner, using a doubled Yb fiber laser for the transmitter, a wide field-of-view (FOV) receiver, and an annular APD detector array, enabling adaptive data processing. The fiber laser offers excellent packaging, robustness, and output characteristics for improved S/N. The receiver offers improved collection efficiency, and the annular array adaptively balances S/N and resolution needs. The proposed system is estimated to have two decades more dynamic range than current imaging systems. Phase I is a design study on the proposed system. Optical design, together with Monte Carlo modeling simulations for various underwater scenarios, yields an optimal optical layout, and analyses of the efficiencies, S/N and resolution capabilities. We develop a preliminary packaging concept for a small underwater vehicle, together with size and weight estimates. In the Option, we define the electronics and interfaces, and develop a power budget for the complete system. The Phase I preliminary design leads to detailed design and construction of a prototype in Phase II.

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

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