Navy asks industry to develop inexpensive focal plane arrays for small systems like UAVs

ARLINGTON, Va., 10 Jan. 2012. U.S. Navy electro-optics scientists are asking industry for help in developing small and relatively inexpensive optical focal plane arrays (FPAs) for small systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by optimizing the imagery from these systems to meet today's detection, tracking and identification requirements.

The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., issued a broad agency announcement (ONRBAA12-005) last week for the Image Optimization for Small Focal Plane Arrays program, which seeks to develop small and affordable optical focal plane arrays.

Although the defense industry continues to develop large-format focal plane arrays for wide area surveillance and reconnaissance coverage for electro-optics infrared (EO-IR) sensors, experts are realizing that this approach will lead to ever increasing costs, ONR officials say.



The Image Optimization for Small Focal Plane Arrays program seeks to develop a more cost effective approach to achieving sensor performance using small, affordable focal plane arrays. by optimizing the imagery from these systems to meet detection, tracking and identification requirements.

ONR scientists want to develop techniques to optimize imagery from passive and active EO-IR imaging sensors based on smaller, less expensive FPAs. ONR also is interested in new techniques for adding processing to read-out integrated circuits (ROICs) to enable better use of smaller FPAs, ONR officials say.

The primary aim of the project is to develop image-enhancement techniques and methodologies for image processing from a variety of different small-format EO-IR sensors to improve the Navy's ability to use a broad spectrum of low-cost sensors.

Companies interested should submit white papers by e-mail at no later than 15 Feb. 2012. Full proposals are due no later than 1 May 2012 to Office of Naval Research Attn: Dr. Antti Makinen, ONR Department Code: 312, 875 North Randolph St., Suite 1121, Arlington, Va., 22203-1995. Awards are expected in January 2013.

For questions or concerns contact the program manager, Dr. Antti Makinen, by e-mail at, or Dr. Michael Duncan at

More information is online at

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