Novel Airborne Multispectral Imaging System for Small Boat Detection
Navy SBIR FY2018.1


Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-023
Topic Title: Novel Airborne Multispectral Imaging System for Small Boat Detection
Proposal No.: N181-023-0304
Firm: TIPD, L.L.C.
1430 N. 6th Ave.
Tucson, Arizona 85705
Contact: Lloyd LaComb
Phone: (520) 360-8907
Abstract: The assets of the US Navy are under constant threat of attack from small fast moving boats, such as the Fast Attack Craft (FAC) and the Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC). These craft may be operated by forces from recognized adversaries such as Iran or North Korea, by ƒ?oRogue Statesƒ?? or by violent non-state actors whose ideology encourages violence against US interests. To counter this threat, the US Navy is developing new tactics and technologies to reduce the threat from FACs in littoral waters. Rapidly detecting, identifying, and tracking small fast attack craft using multispectral electro-optical imaging is a key force multiplier for the US Navy. The proposed high speed multispectral imager uses the polarization of the reflected light to reduce the background signal and to provide additional information on targets in the area of interest. The multispectral polarization imaging system (MPIS) will be compact and light enough to be used in both fixed-wing and rotary-wing naval aircraft.
Benefits: Current electro-optical systems are typically designed for ground-based operations and do not consider the effects of ocean waves and wakes that can confuse the current identification and tracking systems. The proposed systems offers an improved electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imaging system for detection, and identification of small, fast, agile boats in the littoral theatre. A multispectral EO system that offers improved discrimination in ocean waters and is capable of using the wakes generated by fast attack boats to enhance identification of FACs providing better protection for US naval forces. The potential revenue from commercialization of the improved advanced multi-wavelength imaging system could be significant. The technology can be used in industrial, consumer and defense markets. The attractive SWaPC properties and the ability to operate the system at multiple wavelengths could enable a number of new multispectral imaging applications. Additional DoD applications could include incorporation of some aspects of the multispectral polarization imaging system into the AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) and the AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA). The system could also benefit the Department of Homeland Security to improve coastal surveillance for contraband smuggling. Military and civilian port authorities could use the enhanced imaging capabilities of the system to map near surface hazards in highly congested shipping lanes. Other potential commercial applications include coastal archeological exploration and marine salvage and recovery operations.

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