Insect-Inspired Non-Imaging Gesture Human Tracking Array Optics

Period of Performance: 05/23/2013 - 11/22/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


To address the OSD need for a minimally intrusive technology that supports aircraft carrier operator gesture recognition, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Non-Imaging Gesture Human Tracking Array Optics (NIGHT-AO). This proposed device is based on a novel, low size weight and power (SWAP), insect-inspired dual-band (visible-infrared) optical array design that utilizes POC-developed mature components and COTS components. The innovation in optical array configuration, angular resolution, embedded processing network algorithm and speed (at low SWAP) will enable the device to rapidly recognize, acknowledge, and learn new commands used in standard carrier operations. As a result, this device offers seamless integration of upcoming unmanned air systems (UAS) into current carrier operations, and maintains or improves current sortie rates, directly addressing upcoming UAS acquisition program requirements. In Phase I, POC will provide a feasibility study for a natural dialogue-based gesture-recognition human control interface for UAS in carrier-based operations. A final report will be delivered including system performance metrics and plans for Phase II. Additionally, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of NIGHT-AO by building a proof-of-concept prototype. In Phase II, POC plans to build an improved prototype system to be tested in a laboratory simulating the aircraft-carrier CONOPS environment.