NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X4.03-9880
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Suit Radio, Sensors, Displays, Cameras, and Audio
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Novel Hemispherical and Dynamic Camera for EVAs

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) 637-6828

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The primary objective of this SBIR project is to develop a novel Hemispherical and Dynamic Camera(HDC), with unprecedented capability of optically unwrapping, thus can obtain directly the high resolution undistorted (unwrapped) 360 hemispherical video or still images without requiring any external computing resources for performing digital unwrapping. This novel technology would lead to ultra-compact, low-power, light weight, and high resolution hemispherical camera for EVAs.
The unique Neo360 optics offers advantages over any existing technologies. The HDC camera can:
(1) Produce unwrapped hemispherical images optically without using any external computational hardware and software, greatly reducing size, weight and power (SWaP) of the HDC.
(2) Capture real-time video of seamless hemispherical surrounding scene using no moving components;
(3) Unwrap the hemispherical image optically and the outputs images/video is directly viewable for human interpretation;
(4) Preserve image quality via optical unwrapping - no digital re-sampling artifacts that deteriorate image;
(5) Acquire hemispherical scene with full pixel resolution of imaging sensor (conventional 360 optics acquires circular images, making 42% active pixels of sensor useless);
(6) Eliminate time delay caused by digital processing - Hemispherical video can be transmitted directly;
(7) Improve the image transmission efficiency by 70% for EVA video relay.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Future EVAs need to support high resolution imagery with ultra compact, low-power, high definition (HD) cameras and low loss compressed digital data output for radio frequency (RF) transmissions or IP networks. Hemispherical and dynamic cameras are desired for EVAs, where the hemispherical cameras take 360-degrees video of a crewmember, distorting (wrapping) the views through optics and then undistorting (unwrapping) those views via software on the ground to pan /zoom for total situational awareness.
The proposed novel optical unwrapping technology would lead to ultra-compact, low-power, light weight, and high resolution hemispherical dynamic camera (HDC) for EVAs. The proposed novel optical unwrapping technology can also be used to design high performance cameras with different field of views (such as panoramic or wide FOV) for other NASA applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to applications to NASA space missions, break-through in Neo360 optical unwrapping technology could have wide-spread commercial applications in various commercial products for diversified markets/segments, such as:
* Cell phone cameras: compact, light weight and low-power optical unwrapping cameras.
* Video surveillance: wide-FOV video camera for target detection and tracking.
* Automobile: novel designs of the rear view cameras or rear view mirrors.
* Medical device: endoscopes and laparoscopes for minimally invasive surgeries.
* Robotics: Neo360 design techniques could lead to novel compact imaging sensors for robots.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Coding & Compression
Command & Control
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Image Processing
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Tools/EVA Tools

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43