Vision Based Adjunct Navigation Technologies

Period of Performance: 12/30/2008 - 06/30/2009

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

SET Assoc. Corp.
1005 N. Glebe Rd.Suite 400
Arlington, VA 22201
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Precise targeting of modern munitions systems depend critically on GPS/INS systems to provide precise navigation data for controlling flight. When GPS is denied, the drift associated with INS measurements quickly increase measurement errors beyond the point where they are no longer useful for navigation and flight control. SET Corporation proposes to design and implement a vision-based navigation system that enables extended precision navigation during periods of GPS denial. The system uses 2D georectified satellite imagery and 3D terrain information to provide sources of absolute correction for precise localization that are impervious to accumulated drift. Video imagery acquired from on-board sensors is automatically registered to database imagery via approaches that are robust to variations across sensor collections and sensor types enabling day/night operation, and are refined to provide accurate pixel-based feature correspondences. Precise localization is then performed based on a rigorous mathematical foundation of imaging geometry coupled with automated refinement that accurately determines sensor and feature positioning in the absence of GPS updates. Feasibility of the proposed approach will be demonstrated in Phase I via a design trade study which will drive system component selection. Phase II will focus on system prototype development to be demonstrated on a proxy helicopter platform.