A Compact, Multimode LADAR For Target Identification Based Upon Joint Optimization of Optical and Computational Resources

Period of Performance: 01/22/2009 - 10/30/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Bridger Photonics, Inc.
2310 University Way, Bldg. 4-4 Array
Bozeman, MT 59715
Principal Investigator


Bridger Photonics proposes to prove the feasibility of an innovative method for multi-mode target identification. To achieve this system, the team will combine the most advanced ultra-high-resolution FM-CW LADAR unit in existence with state-of-the-art feature-specific computational imaging concepts. This marriage will enable the team to identify and realize the truly optimal solution to the Air Force target identification need. Our team will actively illuminate scenes and project them onto non-image-like, low-dimensional subspaces that are specifically optimized for the Air Force''s target recognition and classification needs. We will examine available active sensing modes as well as the optical and computational resources available, and then jointly optimize these resources to obtain a preliminary multi-mode LADAR design. We will then identify the optical source, the critical optical and electrical components and demonstrate these enabling technologies. We will additionally perform to scale resolution demonstrations of the system''s jointly optimized optical / computational preliminary design and demonstrate the capability for rapid and accurate target identifications. Once this testing stage is completed, the team will utilize the lessons learned to form a final design and determine its feasibility. Our world class team includes experts from Bridger Photonics, the University of Arizona, and Montana State University BENEFIT: This system will offer LADAR imaging with resolutions and speeds that have never before been achieved. The system will directly and immediately benefit the Air Force, but the system''s capabilities will also extend to other military and reconnaissance high-resolution imaging applications.