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, for advanced imaging systems there is an immense need to increase field of view (FOV), resolution, and day/night capability at reduced size, weight and power (SWaP) and cost. The main driver for these requirements is the need to provide dismounted soldiers and near-ground support platforms with the best available imaging tools to enhance combat effectiveness. With the advent of smaller UAVs, the pressure to increase performance and reduce SWaP is even more intense. The Advanced Wide FOV Architectures for Image Reconstruction and Exploitation (AWARE) program responds to these needs by pushing the envelope of imager performance through new focal plane array (FPA) and camera designs and advanced distributed aperture sensors (ADAS) for ground support systems.
A primary objective of the AWARE program is to realize wide FOV, higher resolution, and multi-band imaging capability for increased target discrimination and search in daytime and nighttime conditions. The envisioned imaging systems would be sufficiently lightweight and compact to be fielded on a variety of ground and airborne platforms. The first AWARE systems are expected to be deployed on multiple platforms, providing superior resolution (for better target identification at greater distances), increased operational capability (for the ability to see panoramic scenes with multiple-target tracking), and better day/night visibility (to mitigate brownout conditions for helicopter landings). In addition, AWARE’s modular component technologies could have a broad impact on DoD imaging applications, including targeting, persistent surveillance, sensing, and imaging with color fusion. The AWARE program aims to solve the current fundamental scaling limitations in imaging systems and demonstrate a design methodology for building compact systems capable of forming images with an unprecedented combination of high resolution and wide FOV.
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