Compact Autonomous Polarimetric Imaging Sensor

Period of Performance: 04/15/1999 - 04/10/2000

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physics Innovations, Inc.
P.O. Box 2171
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Surveillance systems on-board unmanned space vehicles are required to have a wide field of regard and operate autonomously. Target detection, recognition, and tracking would be done using high-resolution imaging sensors cued by a lower resolution imaging sensor which is able to view the entire field of regard. This cueing system must be able to discriminate potential targets in clutter and transmit regions of interest to the high-resolution sensors. A promising sensor for the cueing function is an optical imaging polarimeter. Physics Innovations Inc. has developed an imaging sensor technique using a novel array of polarizers, which may be suitable for integration with an imaging sensor which can be compact and consumes low power. Such a system could be integrated on a single substrate to form an intelligent imaging polarimeter on a chip. In the Phase I project, we will explore concepts and technologies for the design of an intelligent optical imaging polarimeter on a chip. In the Phase II project, we will develop a prototype imaging polarimeter in a multichip module based on the technologies evaluated in Phase I.