| Objective: ||Develop near-term technologies and concepts enabling unmanned systems to provide persistent semi-autonomous area surveillance; detect, recognize and respond to threats; and continually track targets.
|| Description: ||This research topic is intended to attack the problems associated with employing limited numbers of small unmanned air vehicles (SUAVs) and other unmanned system resources to provide persistent ISR and enable tactical units to more effectively control and monitor large or multiple areas of interest (AOIs). The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is interested in developing near-term technologies and concepts to provide secure monitoring and threat assessment of areas of interest (AOIs). Small unmanned air vehicles (SUAVs) and other unmanned systems can be employed to reduce the number of personnel required to monitor and control AOIs in a tactical environment. However, the effectiveness of these systems is dependent on the ability of personnel to properly deploy, integrate and manage the systems and then interpret, assess and respond to the data they receive. The focus of this effort is the assessment, development and exploitation of affordable technologies and concepts to enhance the utility, robustness and effectiveness of small unmanned systems. This research effort is directed toward the exploitation of primarily mature sensors (EO/IR video and unattended ground sensors) and systems to enable the rapid transition of technologies to the warfighter. The following technology areas are key to assuring a persistent site surveillance capability with unmanned systems:
1) Algorithms and concepts for sensor/platform deployment, coordination and control to optimize situational awareness and automate object tracking/surveillance and sensor management tasks.
2) Technologies enabling robust, automatic, real-time, cooperative change detection, registration and geo-registration of visible and infrared (IR) video and imagery from multiple sensors.
3) Sensor/data fusion and exploitation techniques to improve the performance and reliability of unmanned systems and provide rapid, reliable detection and identification of threats.
4) Affordable, secure, wireless data, video and control links for SUAVs and other unmanned systems.
5) Sensor pointing, control, and stabilization algorithms and concepts to enhance the quality of video data and facilitate the precise geo-location of objects in the imagery.
|| ||PHASE I: Assess and demonstrate the potential of candidate technologies to address the key areas listed above. Establish metrics and quantify the potential utility of these candidate technologies.
|| || ||PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate the functionality of key technologies and end-to-end persistent site surveillance concepts employing integrated unmanned systems. Build upon the metrics established in Phase I to quantify the effectiveness of the technologies developed in Phase II.
|| ||DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Persistent site monitoring for detection of threats such as IED placement or insurgent movements,tracking and prosecution of mobile threats, green zone protection,and high value asset protection. Commercial application: Homeland defense, border patrol, urban target tracking and commercial security and surveillance systems.
|| References: ||1. “Knowledge-Base Application to Ground Moving Target Detection,” AFRL-SN-RS-TR-2001-185 (AD A395956).
|Keywords: ||UAV, registration, geo-location, change detection, video tracking, sensor management, cooperative sensing|