Unattended Miniature Sensors

Period of Performance: 12/18/1998 - 06/18/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Indigo Systems Corp.
5385 Hollister Ave #103
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Recent advances in the development of small very low-power infrared sensors (i.e. the UL3 camera developed by Indigo Systems Corporation) are having a growing impact on area surveillance and protection strategies for military and commercial users. It is now realizable for these micro-sensors to be used in a widely distributed network for providing contiguous day/night visual surveillance of very large areas. Highly optimized systems will most likely involve the integration of extremely low-power acoustic, seismic, and/or passive IR motion sensors as trigger mechanisms for imaging components in the surveillance network. Additionally, the imaging components themselves may employ extreme low-power modes involving reduced frame rates and on-board motion detection. The work completed under Phase I of this proposal will demonstrate the feasibility of such a system. A trade study will be performed to analyze the requirements of various surveillance scenarios. The results will be used to develop an appropriate system architecture and preliminary system design. In addition, a prototype UL3 infrared camera will be fabricated and tested as part of Phase I. The proposed Phase I Option is to fabricate the hardware demonstration system designed in Phase I. The UL3 camera will be integrated with a data compressor/decompressor (CODEC), spread-spectrum transmitter/receiver, and remote monitoring station. This system will demonstrate the compressed image quality and transmission performance of autonomous sensors developed in Phase II. During Phase II power reduction schemes, including motion detection within the imaging subsystems and integration of low-power queuing sensors will be implemented. UL3-based sensors will be integrated with selected power sources and triggering sensors suitable for long field life. Multiple sensor packages will be incorporated into a complete, fieldable wide area surveillance system. BENEFITS: Advances in networked interconnection, miniaturization, ruggedization, and power reduction of unattended sensors accomplished under this program will directly apply to a broad range of military, pare-military, and commercial markets including ground-based and hand-held surveillance, process monitoring, and fire fighting.