Tech

May 8, 2013

NAWCAD scientists forge new path for underwater optics

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division engineer Dr. Linda Mullen demonstrates a laser used in underwater optics at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., March 6. Mullen patented a new encoding method for laser imaging, which offers possibilities for both fleet and commercial use.

Scientists from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division) recently brought to light a new approach for underwater optics that could enhance fleet activities, such as detecting underwater mines and seafloor mapping.

NAWCAD engineers Linda Mullen and Alan Laux invented a method to encode a laser with a radar signal to improve the performance of underwater imaging systems in murky water.

We program the laser with information about how the laser is scanning the object,î Mullen said of the project, which was developed two years ago and patented in February. Therefore, the light reflecting off the object and the surrounding environment contains all the information needed to accurately create an image.

A typical underwater laser imaging system has the transmitter and receiver on the same platform. Mullen and Laux tailored their imaging system by placing the transmitter and receiver on separate platforms. The remote receiver wirelessly collects the radar-encoded laser light from the transmitter and translates the information, while an image processor turns the digitized signal into an image.

“It’s a new way of thinking about things, Mullen said. ìIn acoustics and radar, theyíve been doing these kinds of approaches for a long time. This is very new for optics.

Their method allows for better image quality and larger operating ranges than traditional underwater optical imaging systems. With the separate platform approach, the receiver can potentially be airborne, shipboard or on another underwater stand ó a first for optics imaging. It also makes it possible to use a smaller platform, which allows the light source to get closer to the object in question without stirring up as much sediment.

Less sediment means better visibility, an important factor in activities such as minesweeping, which depends on the ability to detect mines without inadvertently triggering them.

Commercial uses for the technology exist as well. During one recent test, Maryland law enforcement officials expressed interest in using the technology to help with search and recovery efforts. Underwater laser imaging has the advantage of approaching objects from a single direction and has fewer limitations in shallow water than traditional sonar.

There are scenarios when you have to start thinking out of the box,î Mullen said. Otherwise, you are going to be limited. You wonít be able to get to see what you want to see.

NAWCAD is actively pursuing industry partners to assist in the commercialization of this technology. Call the NAWCAD Technology Transfer Office at (301) 342-1133 to discuss opportunities to collaborate or license the technology.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>