News Article

Reducing Turbulence-Induced Image Distortions
Date: Jan 15, 2013
Source: MDA ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Fifth Gait Technologies of Santa Barbara, CA

Fifth Gait Technologies, Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA), is taking a mathematical approach to reducing turbulence-induced jitters that can distort images of the ground taken aboard aircraft.

The Real-time Atmospheric Mitigation System (RAMS)—first developed for another Department of Defense customer, but enhanced through MDA work—uses off-the shelf technology to improve imaging. With a sensor attached to a 6-inch-telescope mounted on an aircraft, images can be transmitted at up to 200 frames per second to an aircraft- or land-based computer for processing. The processing involves the use of Fifth Gait-developed algorithms, which help optimize visuals through the use of fast-frame-counts in order to produce solid, uncluttered images rather than blurred ones commonly taken during turbulence.

Fifth Gait researchers conducted flight-test demonstrations of its algorithms and RAMS aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in May. The company is looking for markets to enter, including, but not limited to UAVs, maritime sensing, and border surveillance.

MDA funded Fifth Gait through a 2010 Phase II SBIR contract to develop a sensor and optics suite for missile-intercept events.