In-Air DIFAR Sensor

Period of Performance: 06/21/2006 - 06/30/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Progeny Systems Corp.
9500 Innovation Drive
Manassas, VA 20110
Principal Investigator


Progeny Systems has demonstrated the feasibility of an innovative acoustic imaging system using a portable Directional Frequency and Ranging (DIFAR) microphone array. For this Phase II effort we will design, develop, and field test a Engineering Demonstration Model prototype of the DIFAR In-air Sensor System (DISS). The primary innovation of DISS is the use of unique Micro-Electronic Machined Sensor (MEMS) acoustic vector sensor technology for spatial mapping using electronically steerable beamforming. The MEMS sensor configuration provides very high array gain, small footprint, and low power consumption, with the ability to scan in three dimensions to permit persistent surveillance. MEMS acoustic vector sensors have tremendous capability, but current high unit cost will limit their use in expendable sensing systems. We will explore the feasibility of using two more affordable DIFAR element alternatives based on bi-directional hearing aids and arrays using cheap commodity microphones. We will develop detection, classification, bearing estimation, and tracking algorithms for organic processing of target data. Integral to these algorithms is a robust false alarm mitigation process to minimize the generation of spurious reports. We will develop a communications architecture to provide remote beyond line-of-sight monitoring, and compatibility with existing unattended ground sensor data protocols.