Army searches industry for state-of-the-art imaging LIDAR for tactical mapping from UAVs

U.S. Army electro-optics researchers are scouring industry to find the most advanced light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems to perform tactical mapping from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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FORT BELVOIR, Va. - U.S. Army electro-optics researchers are scouring industry to find the most advanced light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems to perform tactical mapping from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Officials of the Army Contracting Command have issued a source-sought notice (W909MY-17-R- A006) for the LIDAR Payload for Manned and Unmanned Airborne Platforms project. Army Contracting Command officials are issuing this notice on behalf of the Army Communications −Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) − Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) at Fort Belvoir, Va.

This project seeks to determine the state-of-the-art in LIDAR sys- tems for tactical mapping, mission planning, and target detection using multi-aspect foliage penetration (FOPEN) technology. Of particular interest is LIDAR technology mature enough for an advanced technology demonstrator prototype.

The U.S. Army is trying to find light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems small enough for unmanned aircraft.

Army researchers are looking for LIDAR systems that consist of several line-replaceable units (LRUs), including an imaging sensor, data storage, and sensor processing.

The imaging sensor must have a pointing and stabilization unit, such as a stabilized turret, that houses the sensor optics, focal planes, and supporting electronics. The data storage and sensor processing portion includes a computer, data storage, sensor-processing algorithms, and imaging sensor command and control software.

The LIDAR imaging sensor should offer resolution of 30 centimeters from altitudes of at least 18,000 feet above ground level, with point rates of 500,000 to 6.5 million final-product points per second. It should have a variable swath from 200 meters or less to 1 kilometer or more, with slant ranges of 25,000 feet.

Because this sensor will be mounted to an unmanned aircraft, low weight and aerodynamic drag are major considerations. Re- searchers want systems that weigh between 200 and 300 pounds, and that measure 18 to 21 inches in diameter.

Software should include automated feature extraction and aided target recognition algorithms for anomaly detection, segmentation, void detection, plane detection, other features to minimize analyst workload, and limited-bandwidth communications of less than two megabits per second.

Companies interested should e-mail responses to the Army's Hanh Dinh at hanh.t.dinh.civ@mail.mil. E-mail questions or concerns to the Army's Rosetta Wisdom-Russell at rosetta.wisdom-russell.civ@mail.mil.

More information is online at http://bit.ly/2mfTUyv.

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