Fast Visible Detection Studies Using Signature Maps
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-057
Topic Title: Fast Visible Detection Studies Using Signature Maps
Proposal No.: N141-057-0630
Firm: Stellar Science Ltd Co
6565 Americas Parkway NE, Suite 925
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
Contact: Brian DiDonna
Phone: (877) 763-8268
Web Site:
Abstract: The Navy wishes to study trade-offs in aircraft maintenance versus visible and near IR detectability in the use of glossy paint finishes. We propose a novel simulation survey technique based on forward ray tracing which will greatly increase the possible space of vehicle, sun and observer positions for this trade study. Forward ray traces build a radiance map for all observation directions, essentially calculating the signature in all view directions simultaneously in an extremely fast and efficient manner. Forward ray traces are also superior to other imaging techniques at identifying strong specular glints. Starting with a modern signature code which has highly accurate glint modeling, we will modify its forward ray trace capability to handle aircraft illuminated by the sun, skyshine and earthshine. We will also add a generic visual detection interface which will support a variety of models, starting with the VIDEM and Georgia Tech Visual (GTV) models. BRDF and DHR measurements will be performed on materials of interest, and all measurements and calculations with be verified through a testing process. This will lay the groundwork for a full vehicle study to be performed in Phase II.
Benefits: Techniques learned in implementing an efficient forward ray trace for air vehicles flying in atmosphere with sun illumination would bring the radiance map technique to a new domain of applicability. This technique would be of great interest to aircraft designers. Traditionally, vehicle radiative return is calculated at a handful of look angles - the radiance map specifies radiance in all directions simultaneous, without undue computational burden. Thus a vehicle's overall signature can be studied in one simulation. Adoption of forward ray trace techniques would greatly increase the speed and reliability of the signature prediction component of vehicle design. Implementation of a generic visual detection interface will allow fast cross comparison of results across many models, increasing confidence in the aggregate results. A fast means to compare results of many visible detection algorithms under new conditions would be of interest to aircraft designers as well as researchers in the fields of visible detection and computer vision.