SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-249 (AirForce)
Title:  Innovative Sensing Techniques for Urban Operations
Research & Technical Areas:  Sensors, Electronics

  Objective:  Investigate and develop advanced signal processing techniques necessary for radar detection, imaging and characterization of dismounts in urban environments.
  Description:  As is apparent by the nature of current conflicts, it has become extremely important to be able to sense enemy movements in urban environments. This may include, but is not limited to, military and civilian vehicular movement, dismounted troop movements both outside and within buildings and also imaging of said troops and equipment within the confines of a building. The detection of dismount troops via Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) radar is made significantly more difficult than the conventional detection of vehicles by the fact that the target cross section is substantially smaller and the target velocity is very low making the signal/clutter separation problem much more difficult. One approach to accomplishing this dismount detection and characterization mission is that of a distributed network of sensors, possibly ground-based, airborne, and space-borne, surrounding a city. These sensors must be waveform agile and have the ability to function collaboratively to accomplish the mission. In all likelihood, simply combining detection reports will not be sufficient (i.e., fusion), and signal combining techniques must be considered. Waveform and geospatially diverse techniques, to include the exploitation of the multipath environment, will be needed and will necessitate the development of advanced receive signal processing developments specific to this difficult detection and characterization problem. This effort will address the following applications: solutions for existing GMTI radars and future distributed sensor concepts.

  PHASE I: The first step is the analysis of existing signature data on dismounts. Based on this analysis, propose a suite of innovative signal processing techniques to enhance detection and characterization of dismounts. Propose a method for modeling dismount motion to create the radar signal characteristics important for dismount detection and characterization. Finally, propose a set of performance metrics for the detection and characterization of dismounts for a notional distributed GMTI sensor framework.
  
  PHASE II: Develop and implement the model and processing techniques developed in Phase I for both an existing GMTI radar and a notional distributed sensing framework. Based on the performance metrics formulated in Phase I, conduct a thorough analysis of required system parameters, deployment characteristics and expected detection and characterization performance for both applications (i.e. conventional GMTI and notional distributed sensing architecture).

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Sensors for detecting/tracking dismounts in complex urban environments; countering insurgent and terrorist efforts to position and arm Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Commercial application: Disaster Response; Law Enformcement: searching for missing, injured, or stranded persons after national or man-made disasters (i.e. earthquakes, explosions, etc).

  References:  1. Final Report, USAF Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) Summer Study on Urban Operations, Fall 2005.

Keywords:  Urban operations, urban sensing, dismount detection, GMTI radar, radar signal processing, distributed sensing.

Questions and Answers:
Q: 1. Are you looking for the sensor packaging to have the capability to hold more than one type of sensor? (ie: a sensor dropped from a vtol or uas holding both a camera and a thermal sensor)

2. Is there a current system of data gathering from multiple sensors that this would need to integrate with? (hardware/Software)
A: 1. We are very interested in solutions incorporating a geometrically distributed suite of sensor systems. It is not necessary for each platform in the distributed sensor constellation to hold more than one type of sensor; however, distributed sensing solutions offering a dismount detection capability using multiple sensors on a single platform are not unacceptable - as long as they additionally incorporate platforms and sensors distributed around the surveillance volume. Please be advised that this SBIR topic is not pursuing sensor packaging strategies, though. Once the feasibility of worthwhile concepts can be demonstrated then our attention will turn to hardware realization and sensor packaging required to field the capability.

2. Negative. Single sensor signature data has been collected using assets at Sensors Directorate locations at WPAFB and Rome, NY as well as Georgia Tech Research Institute (under contract to AFRL/SN). These collections were primarily intended to provide data for phenomenology characterization, model development and algorithm evaluation. There is no requirement to integrate with this system, although the data collected may be of interest to some approaches and can be made available where appropriate.
Q: 1. Are you looking for the sensor packaging to have the capability to hold more than one type of sensor? (ie: a sensor dropped from a vtol or uas holding both a camera and a thermal sensor)

2. Is there a current system of data gathering from multiple sensors that this would need to integrate with? (hardware/Software)
A: 1. We are very interested in solutions incorporating a geometrically distributed suite of sensor systems. It is not necessary for each platform in the distributed sensor constellation to hold more than one type of sensor; however, distributed sensing solutions offering a dismount detection capability using multiple sensors on a single platform are not unacceptable - as long as they additionally incorporate platforms and sensors distributed around the surveillance volume. Please be advised that this SBIR topic is not pursuing sensor packaging strategies, though. Once the feasibility of worthwhile concepts can be demonstrated then our attention will turn to hardware realization and sensor packaging required to field the capability.

2. Negative. Single sensor signature data has been collected using assets at Sensors Directorate locations at WPAFB and Rome, NY as well as Georgia Tech Research Institute (under contract to AFRL/SN). These collections were primarily intended to provide data for phenomenology characterization, model development and algorithm evaluation. There is no requirement to integrate with this system, although the data collected may be of interest to some approaches and can be made available where appropriate.

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