Micro-Camera for oceanographic properties and shallow water hydrography

Period of Performance: 08/01/2006 - 07/01/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Areté Associates
9301 CORBIN AVE Suite 2000
Northridge, CA 91324
Principal Investigator


Under this Phase I proposal Areté proposes to research the feasibility of developing a small, light-weight, low power imaging system for use on a small TUAV for supporting environmental parameter retrieval algorithms in littoral missions. This research will include a detailed requirements analysis to identify, model and quantify the operational constraints incumbent upon the use of a small camera/GPS/IMU system for measuring water depths from a small UAV. This will be followed by a full matrix trade-study that includes candidate imaging and navigation system components, notional Concepts of Operations and several innovative methods for achieving image stabilization. This study will evaluate trades for accuracy of bathymetry product versus weight, cost, power consumption, collection geometry and coverage rate. These studies will rely heavily upon the use of two Areté assets. The first is the Areté ISR Modeling Tool (IMTool), a GUI-run simulator for performing trade studies, METOC performance assessments and mission planning. The second asset is the Areté Unmanned Research Aircraft (AURA), a miniature UAV test platform that will be used to obtain mission-relevant platform motions. A final report describing the results of this Phase I project will include candidate solutions and assessments of their expected performance to be used in determining whether the results warrant proceeding to a Phase II program.BENEFITS: The primary customer for this technology is the Navy. Should Phase I results warrant contined development, plans are to pursue Navy support to complete development of this technology and produce a sensor system for tactical deployment by U.S. expeditionary forces. This specific project provides an obvious path for a product line of many of these small sensor units, since multiple government agencies are acquiring TUAVs in very large numbers, and our time series imaging approach provides advanced capabilities for such a wide range of these agencies ISR missions.