LIDAR Sensor for Underwater and Airborne Mine Detection
Navy SBIR FY2006.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2006.2
Topic No.: N06-130
Topic Title: LIDAR Sensor for Underwater and Airborne Mine Detection
Proposal No.: N062-130-0427
4815 LIST DR.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado 80919-3340
Contact: David Gardner
Phone: (719) 598-6006
Abstract: The Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) is a helicopter-deployed LADAR system aimed at reducing damage to vessels from mines in shallow littoral waters. The ALMDS system has successfully been demonstrated using a Streak Tube Imaging LIDAR system, however, the time sequential nature of a streak tube system coupled with the dynamic nature of the ocean surface introduces artifact and signal processing complexity in mine detection operations. Moreover, one of the most significant long-term technical challenges identified in mine reconnaissance is submarine-launched, unmanned underwater vehicles "UUV's" designed to look for mines "covertly". Salvador Imaging proposes the development of a 2"x2"x4" flash LADAR system which provides precise snapshots of 3-D data at an update rate of up to 400 frames per second. Unlike current high-speed ROIC efforts, the proposed architecture has high fill factor for good optical sensitivity and can provide spatial resolution comparable to the current ALMDS imaging system. The system proposed makes use of a 532nm laser source, but could easily be extended to other visible or NIR bands as needed. Because the entire data set for each range image is captured simultaneously, artifact from target, platform, or sea-surface motion is eliminated.
Benefits: The Phase I effort will provide the design, analysis and initial experimental data needed to predict performance and reduce risk in the development of a flash LADAR system to be built under Phase II. From a commercial point of view, a compact, inexpensive LADAR system has applications in robotics, automotive collision avoidance and automated transportation systems.