Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-10-C-6110
Agency Tracking Number: F083-016-0204
Amount: $749,996.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-016
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-06-21
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-07-21
Small Business Information
6825 Pine Street, Suite 141, Omaha, NE, -
DUNS: 949183701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Amber Fischer
 (808) 954-6049
Business Contact
 Stuart Aldridge
Title: Sr VP, Res and Dev
Phone: (402) 505-7887
Research Institution
The monitoring of multiple UAV video sources is challenging, in part, due to the poor quality of the video received. Significant video degrading is caused by clouds, haze, and dust in the atmosphere; jitter and blurring from the UAV platform motion; and low video resolution due to sensor characteristics and high altitude flying. Higher quality video would alleviate much of the challenge for the operator, increasing the likelihood that they will detect and identify targets and increase their confidence in the presence and type of targets. Improving the quality of video would also increase the autonomous detection and tracking capabilities that support the operator’s ability to interpret the images and make timely decisions. 21st Century Systems, Incorporated is excited to continue to apply our extensive video analytics expertise in developing Video20/20, an innovative real-time EO/IR video-enhancement toolset. Video20/20 is a set of software tools that provide real-time quality video with higher resolution and contrast enhancement making it easier to detect and distinguish enemy activities in video collected from UAV platforms. And, with an SBIR commercialization rating second-to-none, we are just the company to deliver this capability to the warfighter. BENEFIT: There is an immediate need for this video enhancement capability in all branches of the DoD. Unmanned Systems technology has been revolutionized during the current OIF and OEF conflicts, and we can expect to see even more of them in future conflicts. UAVs have performed thousands of ISR missions (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) in support of ongoing operations. They have greatly expanded the level of real-time intelligence available to the warfighter. Despite the many recent advances in Unmanned Systems technology, there are many technical challenges yet to overcome. The limitation of the value of any ISR platform is the ability of a human operator to interpret actionable intelligence from the video stream. Soldiers, Airmen, and Image Analysts are currently hampered by video that is often low-quality and difficult to interpret. By developing a tool that can improve image quality, we can greatly improve the tactical value of every Micro and Small UAV in service. Our system will enable a next-generation capability for UAV operation. It will allow an operator to interpret data from a single UAV much more easily, with less fatigue and eyestrain, and provide greater situational awareness than existing systems. It will also allow the same operator to more easily monitor multiple UAV video streams and be able to interpret and act on them with minimal effort. By cleaning up the imagery, the operator will be able to maintain a much greater understanding of the ground situation with less effort on their part. Video enhancement tools are a key piece to achieving object detection and tracking. For example, in Iraq, a national curfew is in place in the evening prohibiting civilians from being out. Many of the IED’s are emplaced in the dark after the curfew. Having auto detection and tracking of humans would enable the warfighter to use multiple UAV’s in patrolling an area and alert on any people that are detected after curfew. One operator could monitor multiple UAV video streams and be able to interpret and act on them with minimal effort. This would minimize the manpower requirements and maximize the detection of curfew violators enabling strict enforcement of the curfew and, as a result, saving lives.

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

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