by John Keller
ARLINGTON, Va. — U.S. military researchers are trying to develop automatic target-recognition systems that are able to make full use of complex data from advanced 3-D sensors.
Officials of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are asking industry to propose ways to develop novel and efficient techniques for rapidly exploiting 3-D sensor data to precisely locate and recognize targets.
Successfully developing this kind of technology should provide a quantum leap in the military's ability to perform targeting, as well drive the introduction of new 3-D sensors by creating a lucrative market for the use of 3-D data, DARPA officials say.
DARPA scientists say they are interested in three specific areas for this initiative, called the E3D project: modeling, target acquisition, and target recognition.
Modeling refers to building and inserting target, clutter, and decoy models into the 3-D target-recognition system. Target acquisition refers to ways of detecting and separating targets contained in a local block of 3-D data. Target recognition, meanwhile, refers to solutions for analyzing segmented 3-D data blocks to determine target class, identity, and fingerprint.
DARPA officials say they will award one research contract for modeling, and two contracts each for target acquisition and target recognition.
The E3D project is to develop technology able to detect and recognize vehicular targets in 3-D data. The technology must be able to determine vehicle class, type, and unique identity at night, in smoke, and in bad weather, as well as in rugged terrain or under cover.
For more information on the technical approach of this project, access the project's proposal information pamphlet (PIP) at DARPA on the World Wide Web at http://www.darpa.mil/ixo/solicitations/e3d/. The PIP provides detailed information on program objectives, proposal submission format, evaluation, and funding information.
For more information contact Dr. Robert Hummel at DARPA by fax at 703-696-2201 or 2203, or DARPA's Alan Frederick by fax at 703-807-1728. Please do not make phone calls. Send questions by e-mail to [email protected]. Frequently asked questions are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.darpa.mil/ixo/solicitations/e3d/faq.htm.