Dec. 1, 2007
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency awarded Lockheed Martin (Cherry Hill, NJ) a $4.9 million, 18-month program to use brain-inspired technologies to develop a system that will speed an image analyst’s job by 100 times.

Technologies combine to improve surveillance

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency awarded Lockheed Martin (Cherry Hill, NJ) a $4.9 million, 18-month program to use brain-inspired technologies to develop a system that will speed an image analyst’s job by 100 times. Called Object Recognition via Brain-Inspired Technology (ORBIT), the system will use electro-optical, light detection and ranging (lidar), and brain-inspired technologies to automatically recognize objects in urban environments from ground and aerial surveillance. ORBIT will fuse the sensor data into a three-dimensional, photorealistic model of the landscape.

NASA selects Headwall hyperspectral solution

Headwall Photonics (Fitchburg, MA), supplier of integrated spectrometer systems for spectral imaging and chemical sensing solutions, announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Headwall’s Hyperspec imaging sensor to augment the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) program in providing much-needed hyperspectral data for remote-sensing researchers. “NASA had a need for high-quality, aberration-corrected imaging with high spectral and spatial resolution,” said Jeffrey Myers, manager of the Airborne Science and Technology Lab. “Headwall’s Hyperspec sensors are well-known and proven spectral-imaging instruments and this is a demanding imaging application.”

In related news, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $2 million funding bill that allows Headwall Photonics to design and manufacture miniature hyperspectral imaging sensors for a range of unmanned aerial and small unmanned ground vehicles.

Compound Photonics picks up LCoS operations

Syntax-Brillian (Tempe, AZ) signed an agreement in principle to sell its operations in Tempe dedicated to the manufacture of liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) microdisplays and light engines. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will retain all patents and intellectual property associated with LCoS but will license the technology to Compound Photonics (a U.K.-based company with an office in Portland, OR) in exchange for an equity interest in Compound Photonics. Compound Photonics will use its equity to acquire the LCoS manufacturing equipment and inventory and will assume the lease on that portion of the Tempe facilities used in the LCoS operations.

Imperx expands high-end imaging team

Digital-camera maker Imperx (Boca Raton, FL), announced a significant enhancement to its R&D team with the hiring of five skilled machine-vision imaging-system developers. Collectively, the new team members bring more than 40 man-years of imaging-system development expertise gained at the NASA Imaging Technology Space Center at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). The five new hires will form the nucleus of a new division within Imperx, focused on high-end commercial and military-grade imaging product development.

ART orders increase for breast-imaging system

Advanced Research Technologies (ART; Montreal, QC, Canada), provider of optical molecular imaging products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, announced that Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Toronto, ON, Canada) signed a letter of purchase intent acknowledging the hospital’s significant interest in the SoftScan optical breast-imaging device, indicating its intention to move ahead with negotiations that could lead to the purchase of a SoftScan device by the end of the first quarter of 2008. Sunnybrook represents the second health facility to initiate a formal purchasing process for a SoftScan imaging system since ART received regulatory approval from Health Canada for commercialization in December 2006.

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Also in the news . . .

Flir Systems (Portland, OR) received a $9.3 million fixed-price contract from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, for Maritime Forward-Looking Infrared systems to provide ground vehicles with day/night thermal imaging capability. . . . MAZeT (Jena, Germany), system house for industrial electronics and Jencolor color sensors, launched its new Color and Spectral Sensoring business unit. . . . While mobile handsets continue to be the dominant application for small- and medium-size liquid-crystal displays, new uses such as portable navigation devices, digital photo frames, and MP3/portable media will drive global small/medium display shipments to 4.5 billion units by 2011-up from 3.8 billion in 2007-according to research firm iSuppli (El Segundo, CA). . . . Simpleware (Exeter, England) and Comsol (Burlington, MA) have partnered to provide an export interface from Simpleware’s three-dimensional (3-D) image-based meshing software to Comsol’s multiphysics simulation environment that will allow biomedical engineers to directly export high-quality meshes of 3-D magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scan data without requiring re-meshing or preprocessing.

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