Physics Based Discrimination Algorithms

Period of Performance: 07/24/2003 - 01/24/2004

$69.7K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Optellios, Inc.
250 Phillips Blvd , Suite 255
Ewing, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Target detection, identification and tracking are highly complex tasks that are necessary for threat analysis, and weapons guidance. The speed and accuracy with which threats are determined can often be the most significant factor in determined the level of casualties. Polarization imaging is a promising technique that can distinguish objects normally obscured in low-contrast situations or in intensity-cluttered backgrounds. However, the use of polarization in traditional imaging has gone relatively underutilized in part due to the low speed inherent in the currently available class of mechanically driven prototype devices. Optellios, Inc. proposes to begin development on a fast-imaging, electrically controlled polarimetry device utilizing a unique liquid crystal based technology. The focus of this proposal is to investigate liquid crystal materials and optical architectures which comprise a polarization analyzer module. The goal of this project is to lay the groundwork for the development of a high-speed liquid crystal based polarization imaging device. Such a device would be more effective than traditional imaging techniques in enhancing details normally inaccessible in low-contrast or intensity overlap situations. Polarization imaging is a promising technique that can distinguish objects normally obscured in low-contrast situations or in intensity-cluttered backgrounds. Since most man-made objects reflect a larger percentage of polarized light than natural objects, a polarization imaging device would be able to resolve an object from its natural background and could readily complement traditional imaging sensors, detectors, and devices that would otherwise be hampered in `noisy' environments. The capability to use polarization as an imaging technique is anticipated to have widespread commercial and military applications such as detection of decoys and other threat objects.