"Ship Shape": Three-dimensional ship modeling for submarine combat systems
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-024
Topic Title: "Ship Shape": Three-dimensional ship modeling for submarine combat systems
Proposal No.: N131-024-0340
Firm: Stellar Science Ltd Co
6565 Americas Parkway NE, Suite 725
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
Contact: Conrad Poelman
Phone: (877) 763-8268
Web Site: www.stellarscience.com
Abstract: The rapid identification of ships from periscope and other imagery is a capability important to a variety of submarine missions, including sea control, anti-surface warfare, battle group support, covert operations landings, and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) operations. When spotting a new vessel, the imagery taken from submarines can be useful to construct three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided design (CAD) models of ships that can be used for identification in future sightings, for computer-generated simulations, and for capabilities assessment. Currently the task of ship recognition from images requires substantial human involvement, and model building is labor-intensive. This research project seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of applying modern computer vision techniques to create a Ship Shape system that computes 3D CAD models from submarine periscope imagery of ships, with operator involvement limited to 15-30 minutes per model. We propose to leverage current computer vision techniques and demonstrate proof-of-concept algorithms for each phase of the computation, including image segmentation, sparse shape reconstruction, dense shape reconstruction, and CAD modeling with limited user interaction.
Benefits: For submarine combat systems, once fully implemented the Ship Shape system will reduce the time and level of expertise required to build a 3D model of a ship from imagery, potentially improving ship recognition capabilities to support a variety of missions. Commercial applications of the proposed research include a variety of semi-automated modeling processes benefitting DoD and virtual simulation users. A successful conclusion to this research will enable 3D shape reconstruction technologies with significant time-saving capabilities in these and other areas, ranging from developing realistic 3D models for computer animations to creating 3D building models for virtual reality real estate walkthroughs.