NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Automated Collection and Transfer of Range Surveillance/Intrusion Data
PROPOSAL TITLE:Processor for Real-Time Atmospheric Compensation in Long-Range Imaging

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
EM Photonics
51 East Main Street
Newark, DE 19711-4676
(302) 456-9003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James   Durbano
51 East Main Street
Newark, DE  19711-4676
(302) 456-9003

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Long-range imaging is a critical component to many NASA applications including range surveillance, launch tracking, and astronomical observation. However, significant degradation occurs when imaging through the Earth's atmosphere. The subsequent effects of poor image quality range from inconvenient to dangerous depending on the application. In Phase I, EM Photonics developed a prototype solver based on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology capable of enhancing long-range images and videos by compensating for atmosphere induced distortions. This solver was built on an FPGA-platform and thus offered a significant performance increase over traditional, software-based approaches. In Phase II, we will extend this prototype to process incoming video streams in real-time for a variety of formats, including the high-definition version used by NASA. The resulting device will be light-weight and low-power and can be integrated with current video collection, viewing, and recording equipment. This device can be used to process data as it is collected (in real-time) or from previously recorded imagery and deployed with camera systems or in data centers depending on the application. Additionally, since this processing unit is built on FPGA technology, it can easily be extended to perform a variety of other tasks such as compression, encryption or further processing.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA collects massive amounts of long-range imagery for range safety pre-launch, tracking objects after launch, and observing objects in space. Because these applications require imaging through the atmosphere at great distances, many times the imagery collected is blurred and detail is lost. By utilizing the device developed in this project to enhance imagery, NASA officials will have access to additional information for a variety of key decisions. During launch, added level of detail provides the ability to make more informed "go" or "no go" decisions. When tracking rockets or the shuttle, enhanced imagery allows for more detail on pieces that may fall from the craft during flight. Accounting for atmospheric effects will also improve the quality of all imagery taken of space-based objects from Earth. All applications at NASA that require long-range imagery can be improved by rapidly enhancing the collected data.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Due to the increasing need for accurate long-range imagery in a variety of fields, we have identified numerous applications that could benefit from this technology in the government and private-sector ranging from law enforcement to the study of natural phenomena. Specific applications include vehicle monitoring and identification, remote site monitoring, underwater imaging, border patrol, perimeter security, costal monitoring, long-range wildlife photography, and airport security. We envision deploying the solver both as a standalone box (as will be developed in this project) and integrated directly with camera and imaging system manufacturers. We have already identified several commercial vendors with interest in this technology and will be providing them demonstrations of the system developed during Phase II.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Data Input/Output Devices
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04