NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Automated Optical Tracking and Identification of Tumbling 3D Objects
PROPOSAL TITLE:Range-Based Auto-Focus

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Maracel Systems & Software Technologies,LLC
917 Maracel Loop
Crestview, FL 32536-5435
(850) 423-0512

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles M Ditto
917 Maracel Loop
Crestview, FL  32536-5435
(850) 423-0512

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Maracel Systems and Software Technologies, LLC proposes a revolutionary Range-Based Auto Focus (RBAF) system that will combine externally input range, such as might be received from a tracking radar or GPS telemetry downlink, with advanced image processing to provide long range optical systems with optimal focus while mitigating distortions due to atmospheric disturbances. The system will be optimized to focus on moving targets generating potentially high focus dynamics and to focus only on the subject of the imagery ? not background artifacts such as rocket plumes. The significant implication of this development is a substantial improvement in the quality and quantity of data gathered by optical data acquisition systems. Through research, empirical trials, and algorithm development, the outcome of the Phase I effort will be a prototype system that demonstrates the improved focus capabilities and commercial viability of the RBAF system. Phase II development will result in production packages with comprehensive interface documentation for modular components of a complete RBAF system that may be manufactured and integrated with long-range optical systems without further engineering design effort. This will yield a complete product ready for commercialization that includes production quality technical and user documentation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Long-Range Optics. NASA currently employs hundreds of optical systems in its missions. Many of these systems, with applications from shuttle launch support to deep space surveillance, could benefit greatly from the increased quantity and enhanced quality of this highly important imagery.

Video documentation systems. Even the increased quality of standard documentation optical systems often used by NASA would benefit from the RBAF system. Increased quality in the imagery capture function of the NASA mission will have a significant impact on human decisions and research related to the NASA objectives.

Optical Tracking Systems. Optimizing the focus operation of tracking systems employed at NASA's test facilities helps ensure mission success.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
U.S. and Foreign Test Ranges. Test ranges worldwide, those of the U. S. including DoD, FAA, DOE, and others and those of foreign countries, could take advantage of the RBAF system for the same applications and benefits as NASA.

Tactical Systems. The increasing importance of real-time imagery in tactical systems offers potential for application of the RBAF system. Unmanned aerial vehicles and other combat systems equipped with range finding sensors would benefit from increased focus performance.

Surveillance and Security. Harbor monitoring and a wide range of other surveillance and security activities could be aided in mission performance by using the RBAF system.

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.

Computer System Architectures

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19