Polarization Enhanced Thermal (eTherm) Imager for Mobile Footprint Detection

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$105K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Polaris Sensor Technologies, Inc.
200 Westside Square Array
Huntsville, AL 35801
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Imaging polarimetry has demonstrated the ability for detection of military targets in situations where traditional imaging sensors fall short. Detection of polarization of light emitted or reflected from objects in a scene enhances contrast between objects and backgrounds, providing additional information about the geometry, material, temperature, and surface characteristics of the objects in the scene. Polaris Sensor Technologies has developed an infrared polarimetric imager for military applications that will be adapted here to detect footprints and other signs of human activity in the desert through surface texture and other changes in the soil due to foot traffic. The Phase I will use an existing system for data collection, demonstrate the capability, and produce a system design with user interface and features customized for the CBP mission to be implemented in Phase II. The eTherm sensor at completion of Phase II will provide real time video suitable for use on a vehicle travelling up to 25 mph on unimproved roads while monitoring the border. The CBP agent will view fused IR and polarimetric imagery and receive alerts from the eTherm system via a smart phone or tablet interface. Strong commercial potential applications exist with CBP, a major drone manufacturer, and DoD.