Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 375.00K | Year: 2014
ABSTRACT: The U.S. Air Force has a need to develop a wide-field-of-view (WFOV) multimode seeker with one mode being multi-waveband passive infrared imaging, and the second mode being a semi-active laser (SAL). The multimode system is required because of the continued need for military operations to be conducted in difficult urban environments were damage effects must be controlled through precision guidance of munitions. Given the highly cluttered nature of urban environments and associated problems with line-of-sight designation, additional precision can be obtained via passive infrared imaging provided from the flight vehicle. The additional image information would allow soldiers on the ground to adjust the laser designator spot accordingly and thereby increase the probability of correctly identifying and tracking targets from non-targets. The Spectral Imaging Laboratory (SPILAB) will develop a dual resolution, WFOV infrared seeker that can be integrated with a SAL sub-system. The combined system will have a size, weight, and power (SWaP) below the required 5 inch diameter, 5 lbs, and 50 W. BENEFIT: The combined infrared seeker/SAL system will enable soldiers in the field to designate targets with greater precision in cluttered urban environments. Commercial applications include surveillance activities in law enforcement, border control, homeland security. The infrared seeker system alone will find applications in search and rescue, machine vision, robotics, and vehicle situational awareness/safety systems.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011
ABSTRACT: The U.S. Air Force has a need to improve stray light rejection and reduce the solar exclusion angle for space-based optical sensors tasked with detecting and tracking multiple satellites. The Spectral Imaging Laboratory (SPILAB) proposes the development of artificial compound eye (ACE) optics with an internal honeycomb louver baffle that can block stray radiation from bright sources such as the sun. ACE optics have the benefit of generating high resolution, distortion free images that have uniform intensity across the field. During Phase 1 SPILAB will design a wide field-of-view (WFOV-ACE) camera for full awareness, near field tracking and a high resolution (HR-ACE) camera for long range tracking. BENEFIT: Will provide the military with systems that are highly relevant to Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) and Space Situational Awareness (SSA). Commercial applications include airborne surveillance requiring shielding from bright sources and machine vision for manufacturing, robotics, and vehicle situational awareness/safety systems.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 69.99K | Year: 2008
The Naval Special Warfare Visual Augmentation Systems program has an interest in developing an 80 degree field of view (FOV) aviator night vision system (ANVIS) to more closely match the panoramic viewing capability of the unaided human eye. Standard ANVIS and night vision goggles, which are based on conventional optics, have only a 40° degree FOV. Increasing the FOV using conventional optical techniques would result in large, heavy systems that can cause neck strain in pilots. The Spectral Imaging Laboratory (SPILAB) proposes the development of curved lens array optics as a means of increasing the FOV while decreasing size, weight, and cost. The new lens array optics would have the additional advantage of an infinite depth of field. This could benefit pilots by enabling them to read nearby instrument panels through the optical system without the need to adjust focus when viewing outside the cockpit window.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2013
ABSTRACT: The U.S. Air Force has a need to develop a new class of advanced, wide field of view (WFOV), dual band infrared sensor that can be deployed on Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), missile seekers and smart munitions. The Spectral Imaging Laboratory (SPILAB) proposes the development of a 120°WFOV, forward looking artificial compound eye (ACE) sensor for missile seekers and smart munitions, and a 220°Ultra-WFOV ACE sensor for aircraft. Both sensors will have simultaneous 3 - 5 um middle wavelength infrared (MWIR) and 8 - 10 um long wavelength infrared (LWIR) capabilities. Both sensors will be equipped with hyperacuity apertures in the foveal region to improve the accuracy of locating long range targets and to enhance the resolution of images. BENEFIT: The Ultra-WFOV ACE can enhance the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability of the larger RPAs, and the forward looking, WFOV ACE can enhance the guidance, navigation and control of seekers and munitions. The wide angle capability eliminates the need for heavy gimbals and thereby reduces the overall size, weight, and power of seekers and munitions. The dual band capability enables the simultaneous imaging of cold bodies in the LWIR and hot surfaces or missile plumes in the MWIR.
Spectral Imaging Laboratory | Date: 2011-07-28
A wide angle imaging system combines compound array fore-optics with single axis relay optics to generate distortion free images with an infinite depth of field. A curved first array of objective lenslets focuses multiple apertures of light through the tubes of a louver baffle terminated by field stops. An intermediate curved array of field lenslets, positioned immediately after the field stops, passes the light beams through an array of pupil planes. A curved final array of erector lenslets refocuses and adjoins the beams into a contiguous image that is curved. The relay optics transform the curved intermediate image into a flat final image. The fore-optics and relay optics are optimized concurrently to achieve much higher performance than is possible in either compound array optics or sequential optics. This is accomplished by varying the lenslet radii of the fore-optics in annular increments to compensate for aberrations introduced by the relay lenses.