---------- NIMA ----------

2 Phase I Selections from the 03.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
ESSEX CORP.
9150 Guilford Road
Columbia, MD 21046
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(301) 953-7985
Dr. Louis Phillips
NIMA 03-002       Awarded: 31JUL03
Title:SAR Tomography for Target/Feature Detection in Foliated Regions
Abstract:SAR target/feature detection can be divided into to separate aspects: 1) achieving sufficient energy on target for detection; and 2) discriminating the target from the clutter. Let's assume that there is sufficient target return to overcome the thermal noise floor. Then target detection is solely dependent upon separating the target from the forest clutter. VSAR offers significant benefits for enhanced imagery through clutter rejection, enhanced target definition. These enhancements enable improved detection of concealed targets, improved characterization of targets, true bare earth mapping under foliage, and characterization of foliage distribution. Essex has obtained results by coherently combining multiple SAR data collects. These collects were separated in elevation, azimuth, or both. VSAR algorithms have been incorporated into Essex SAR processing and visualization software packages, and have been demonstrated at UHF FOPEN frequencies. Extensions to other radar bands and platforms could provide new ways to recognize and characterize weak or partially concealed targets, or to profile scenes with large vertical relief. Essex has developed and integrated these VSAR capabilities into a platform-independent processing suite with a Java GUI running on Linux, Irix, and Windows. These techniques have been validated using data collected with the DARPA FOPEN ATD system at Camp Navajo (2001). The foliage penetration capabilities offered by the VSAR processing approach offers a significant benefit for several military ACTD programs as well as commercial terrain and infrastructure mapping appications. In addition, these techniques also relax the geometry constraints associated with the collection process for existing operational systems. Currently, the RadarSAT is constrained to collecting repeat pass pairs suitable for terrain mapping approximately every 21 days. The VSAR techniques proposed should improve that to every 2-3 days with better accuracy.

VEXCEL CORP.
4909 Nautilus Court
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 583-0215
Dr. Dennis C. Ghiglia
NIMA 03-002       Awarded: 31JUL03
Title:SAR Tomography
Abstract:The primary goal of the proposed research is to help advance the science and art of SAR tomography and, more generally, 3-D SAR imaging for downstream image exploitation. Vexcel Corporation proposes to delineate the current state-of-the-art in SAR tomography for 3-D imaging and subsequent exploitation. There have been a number of tomographic SAR examples described in the literature and elsewhere, however a complete description of the scenarios and applications possible (including the limitations) have not been presented or established. Vexcel proposes to investigate current practical and theoretical limitations and/or constraints to data collection and processing for useful 3-D SAR imaging and applications which include, but are not limited to, ATR, DTED mapping, detection/identification of man-made structures, and general 3-D geospatial information extraction from airborne or satellite collections or from combinations thereof. Novel approaches to data collection and processing will be explored. To the extent that the discovered constraints/limitations offer alternative solutions, Vexcel will propose possible alternatives to the conventional paradigm. Advanced signal processing concepts will be demonstrated with simulations and actual SAR data. Definitive experiments will be suggested for proof-of-concepts in follow-on research. The ability to collect and construct true three-dimensional radar data will have very broad application. On the civilian/commercial side, volumetric SAR systems may be used for example, to explore forest and vegetation health and status as well as to map urban areas more precisely and efficiently. Military applications of this technology include the development of more sensitive detection and recognition techniques, particularly when applied to detection within a volume such as in a forest canopy, or under the ground.