NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 O2.01-9918
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Automated Collection and Transfer of Launch Range Surveillance/Intrusion Data
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Smart Pan/Tilt/Zoom Sensor for Launch Range Video Surveillance

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Xigen, LLC
11001 Sugarbush Terrace
Rockville, MD 20852 - 3240
(301) 637-6828

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jason Geng
11001 Sugarbush Terrace
Rockville, MD 20852 - 3240
(301) 910-9788

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA has a pressing need for increasing the efficiency of launch range surveillance during mission launch operations. Difficulty in verifying a cleared range causes significant launch delay that may significantly affect the operation safety, cost and schedule. With the increase of workload on existing and/or newly-built spaceports, challenges in launch range clearance and surveillance call for new breakthrough in technologies to better serve for NASA's missions.
We propose this SBIR to develop a novel "Smart Pan/Tilt/Zoom Visible/IR Sensor" platform, dubbed Smart PTZ(TM), especially suited for detection, tracking, recognition, and identification of persons and objects that have intruded areas of the range that must be cleared in order to conduct safe launch operations.
Conventional optical sensors have limited field of views (FOV). They observe objects through a small solid angle. Simultaneous acquisition of target in panoramic view is not possible. Although optical amplification may provide detailed target image, detecting and tracking target(s) in a large area is difficult, resulting in lengthy search time, costly UAV maneuvers, low efficiency in verifying range clearance, even missing intruder due to limited FOV. Increasing FOV, however, is a double-edged sword that leads to a decreased spatial resolution, causing difficulties in target recognition and classification.
To resolve the simultaneous yet contradicting requirements on the FOV and image resolution for range surveillance applications, we propose a novel Smart PTZ sensor concept that meets both needs with unprecedented performance. By integrating both wide FOV sensor and agile PTZ sensor within a compact package, together with a set of intelligent video analysis algorithms, the Smart PTZ sensor would enable high performance target detection, tracking, recognition and classification, within a very large FOV (up to 360-degree) for NASA launch range clearance and surveillance.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The unique advantages of the proposed Smart PTZ Sensors include:
(1) Novel optical design of wide FOV optics (up to 360-degree) for imaging sensor, no blind spot, no image distortion;
(2) Simultaneous acquisition of both wide field of view and zoomed high resolution images;
(3) Smart PTZ target tracking capability;
(4) Intelligent video processing algorithms for automatic target detection and tracking;
(5) Embedded on-board DSP processing module;
(6) Novel optical design of 360-degree imaging applies to both visible and infrared sensors;
(7) Flexible mounting options: on-board UAV, ground mobile vehicle mounted, and ground fixed camera installations.
(8) Tremendous commercialization potential

The Smart PTZ sensor designs allow for flexible mounting configurations and application scenarios. The compact light weight and low-power visible/infrared sensor package is ideally suited for mounting on UAVs and ground mobile vehicles for launch range surveillance. The Smart PTZ sensors can also be installed at fixed ground locations with critical importance for constant 7/24 real-time video surveillance with intelligent target detection capabilities. The proposed Smart PTZ visible/Infrared sensor technology offers an efficient, flexible, low-cost, and high performance solution to NASA launch range surveillance applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Beyond NASA's launch range clearance, the proposed Smart PTZ sensor technology has immediate commercial applications in homeland security, video monitoring, and IP based remote video surveillance. According to Frost & Sullivan, the global video surveillance industry is about $7 billion, which is expected to grow to $13 billion within five years, with 44% growth market on the verge of technological breakthrough. The video surveillance market is considered as a limitless growth market. "Cameras Everywhere" continues to be the best description of the trend in the video surveillance market.
In addition, the novel Neo360 optical unwrapping technology developed in this project will enable development of new commercial products in automotive safety market, medical endoscope market and video projector market, with unprecedented performance, resolution, image quality, cost efficiency, and ease of use.

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 Input/Output Devices
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26