Advanced Algorithms for Space-Based Next-Generation Infrared Sensor Exploitation

Period of Performance: 09/03/2013 - 12/09/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Toyon Research Corp.
6800 Cortona Drive Array
Goleta, CA 93117
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Toyon Research Corporation and Argo Science Corporation propose research and development of advanced algorithms and efficient software for improved exploitation of space-based next-generation infrared sensor data. The developed algorithms will provide jitter compensation and suppression of clutter to below the level of the sensor noise, based on advanced spatiotemporal clutter estimation and rejection techniques. The developed algorithms will also provide early detection of missile launches based on near-optimal exploitation of high-frame-rate sensor data, and high-confidence detection and tracking of multiple maneuvering bright and extremely dim targets in standard-frame-rate data. The proposed detection and tracking algorithms are based on innovative development in a Bayesian track-before-detect framework. The developed algorithms will be implemented in efficient, modular software libraries which will be delivered to the government, along with a prototype software application demonstrating end-to-end operation of the developed sensor processing system. The Toyon team will support integration of the developed software libraries and prototype software application, and will perform extensive testing, algorithm evaluation, and demonstration using real-world data from high-frame-rate and standard-frame rate sensors. Testing with physics-based simulated data and semi-synthetic/semi-real data will also be performed, to address the range of applications of interest to the government. BENEFIT: The successful completion of this R&D will result in advanced algorithms and an efficient software implementation for detection of extremely dim signals from space-based EO/IR sensor platforms. Primary applications include early detection of missile launches and high-confidence tracking of multiple dim targets. Additional applications include airborne- and ground/surface-based sensing onboard manned and unmanned platforms. The developed algorithms and software can be directly applied to real-time processing in SBIRS ground stations. The developed technology is also expected to be directly applicable to battle space awareness and technical intelligence, and is also well-suited for transition into the PTSS and SBSS systems. The proposed technology has the potential to enable detection of target signals which were previously not exploited due to the low level of the signals, due to signal scattering and/or long sensor-target standoff ranges. Thus, the proposal technology has applications in counter-terrorism, law enforcement, and a variety of civilian applications, in addition to many military applications.