Polarimetric Sensor for Airborne Platforms

Period of Performance: 05/06/2008 - 11/06/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digital Fusion
5030 Bradford DriveBuilding 1, Suite 210
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator


The Navy has identified the need to enhance existing tactical reconnaissance platforms by utilizing emerging sensor technologies to support both domestic and national security operations. Situational awareness imagery has become a vital tool for locating, identifying and helping to neutralize threats. However, recent US military experience in IRAQ as well as illegal entry into the US across national borders, vividly demonstrates the need for improvements in reconnaissance imagery. One very promising enhancement is polarimetric imagery. Digital Fusion Solutions and Space Dynamics Laboratory plan to integrate a polarimetric sensor into an airborne platform such as the shared reconnaissance pod (SHARP). Along with the sensor development, an overall plan for system integration is described with emphasis on image format and data exchange, as well as size, weight, and power (SWAP) considerations. To make this a cost effective solution, priority is placed on using many existing system components. The proposed solution involves replacing the current MWIR senor on the SHARP with a dual mode (MWIR/LWIR) polarimeter.