ATG target recognition   Leave a comment

After graduate school, I got a job for an Air Force contractor and joined a team working on a modeling code called Irma (now Irma 5.0).

In support of this effort, I used a lot of exotic (at the time) imaging technologies, including
mid-wave IR imager,
long-wave IR imager
Visible Spectroradiometer
hyperspectral imager and data analysis
passive millimeter wave imager, which we also used as a testbed for buried mine detection
polarimetric imagers and data analysis
spectropolarimetric systems and rough surface scattering
LADAR systems

We did a few things with all this hardware. Primarily, we acquired “truth” images of real objects that were then used as a basis to improve the Irma model:

The overall goal was the development of autonomous munitions. Another term is “fire and forget”- after launch, the weapon would not require human interaction to hit the target. We searched for features (spectral or polarimetric) that could be used to distinguish a target from background, or friend from foe.

But we also used the millimeter-wave imager to look at a rocket plume at NASA Stennis Space Flight Center.

That was a cool trip- there was a Space Shuttle main engine test scheduled while we were there- a 240-second full throttle burn. They made a cloud: an actual real-life-sized cloud that drifted away when the test was over.

We also did a quick experiment using the millimeter-wave imager to look for buried mines and, as it turns out, an early version of airport security systems.

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Posted December 28, 2010 by resnicklab

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