Addressing the passive imaging needs for multi-band, wide field-of-view and high-resolution imaging for ground and near ground platforms.
The ability to see farther, with higher clarity, and through darkness and/or obscurants is vital to nearly all military operations. At the same time, there is an immense need to increase FOV, resolution and day/night capability at reduced SWaP and cost for advanced imaging systems. The main driver for these requirements is to provide dismounted soldiers, ground troops and near-ground support platforms with the best available imaging tools for their combat effectiveness. With the advent of smaller UAVs, which can provide a huge advantage to our troops, the pressure to increase performance and reduce SWaP is even more intense. Advanced Wide FOV Architectures for Image Reconstruction and Exploitation (AWARE) program responds to these needs by simultaneously pushing the envelope of imager performance through new FPA and camera designs and advanced distributed aperture sensors (ADAS) ground support systems.
The AWARE program will enable wide FOV, higher resolution and multi-band imaging capability for increased target discrimination and search in all weather day/night conditions. The imaging systems will be sufficiently lightweight and compact to be fielded on a variety of ground and air borne platforms. It is envisioned that the first AWARE systems will be deployed on ground and near ground assets and will improve resolution (increase distance for target ID), increase operational capability (ability to see panoramic visible scene with multiple target tracking), increase day/night visibility (mitigate brownout for helicopter landing) and search capability with LWIR, increase range and resolution with SWIR foveation, replace multiple sights now used by rifle scopes with single day/night sensor, and provide spectrometry capability using broad band sensors. In addition, the modular component technologies will have a broad impact on DoD imaging applications including targeting, persistent surveillance, sensing, and imaging with color fusion. The AWARE program will solve the current fundamental scaling limitations in imaging systems and demonstrate a design methodology for building compact systems, capable of forming images at or near the full diffraction-limited instantaneous field of view (iFOV) achieved over a wide FOV. This approach represents a dramatic advance over the current state of the art.
Dr. Nibir Dharnibir.firstname.lastname@example.org