Crash-Hardened Airborne Overhead High-Speed Video System

Period of Performance: 12/05/2013 - 12/05/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for airborne high-speed video (AHSV) capability in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to advance the development of the Crash-Hardened Airborne Overhead High-Speed (CHAOS) video system. CHAOS is based on POC s proprietary lossless optical segmenting hardware, parallelized image acquisition hardware, FPGA-based processing, and crash-ruggedized nonvolatile memory sufficient for 16 seconds of AHSV. The innovative design prototyped and shown feasible in Phase I eliminates the need for computationally intensive image registration software through optical image segmenting. The innovative design provides 2000fps imaging at 1920×1080 resolution, and can be expanded to support color and IR imaging. The parallelized image acquisition electronics are fully scalable allowing the design to support higher resolutions or frame rates as the client needs dictate. In Phase II, POC will work with the Air Force to define a comprehensive test plan for the Phase II prototype. We will then refine and finalize the CHAOS design and proceed to fabricate a TRL-5 prototype. The prototype will be demonstrated to the Air Force in keeping with our defined test plan. Concurrently, we will define certification and productization roadmaps for Phase IIe/III follow-on efforts. BENEFIT: The proposed CHAOS video system with its unique capacity to fuse sensor devices will make possible new classes of imaging technologies, such as high-resolution, high-speed, low-cost imager systems. Conventional approaches to fabricating large imaging arrays have either been based on stitching of smaller arrays or actual physical construction of large arrays. Both approaches have drawbacks that are directly overcome by the CHAOS video system, thereby allowing POC s CHAOS to directly extend the capabilities and lifecycles of military and commercial imaging technologies. The CHAOS video system can employ existing lower-cost, poorer-performing imaging components to provide high-performance operation. This approach breathes new life into current mature technologies, and directly reduces fabrication and design costs of various technologies.