ARLINGTON, Va., 8 Sept. 2013. Electro-optics scientists at Trex Enterprises Corp. in San Diego are helping U.S. military researchers develop fundamentally new avionics electro-optical sensors for target identification and tracking under terms of a $23.6 million contract announced this past week.
Trex experts are doing the work as part of the second phase of the Military Imaging and Surveillance Technology - Long Range (MIST-LR) program, sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va.
The MIST-LR program of the DARPA Strategic Technology Office focuses on long-range geometric and 3-D imaging technology for characterizing targets beyond the physical-aperture diffraction-limit of the receiver system. The program focuses on new sensor methods involving computational imaging, synthetic-aperture imaging, digital holography, multi-static laser radar, and angle-resolved imaging based on light transport analysis.
Optical sensors available today can help identify targets, but their sizes and operational ranges can be limiting, DARPA officials say. The MIST-LR program seeks to develop new sensing methods that address physical aperture of the imaging receiver, the effects of atmospheric turbulence, performance of the receiver array, the power of the illumination source, and the image formation algorithms are the primary defining characteristics of active imaging systems.
Technical areas of emphasis in the program are image resolution-2D and 3D; system link-budget and image signal-to-noise ratio; image quality, contrast, and the ability for automated identification; maximum relative target motion; image acquisition and processing time; image field of regard and range depth; image size and coverage rate; image frame rate; transceiver targeting and steering; target recognition; differential scene motion for detection; system size, weight, and power requirements; compensation of turbulence effects; and manufacturability and affordability.