Principal Accomplishments

The MACHETE ladar sensor is successfully integrated onto a DHC-8 aircraft.

  • The Wide-Area Infrared System for Persistent Surveillance (WISP) was deployed for airborne counterterrorism; ground- and ship-based systems were further developed for force protection. The Multi-Aperture Sparse Imager Video System (MASIVS) for collecting wide-area motion imagery was augmented with improved onboard processing and reach-in exploitation tools to support active deployments. An immersive imaging capability was developed and deployed to support the Boston Police Department’s event protection activities.
  • The Laboratory developed the Multi-look Airborne Collector for Human Encampment and Terrain Extraction (MACHETE) three-dimensional ladar, designed to uncover clandestine activity in heavily foliated areas. The system’s high area collection rates are enabled by dual 64 × 256 Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode arrays. MACHETE was integrated on a DHC-8 aircraft and underwent field tests before its transition to operations. The Laboratory developed the onboard and ground processing, including algorithms to facilitate timely exploitation of imagery.
  • Working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Laboratory supported the development of a distributed multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) radio for high-data-rate, low-probability-of-exploitation RF communications. The Laboratory led work on an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for a small-form-factor implementation of the radio. The ASIC should achieve world-class performance for communications applications, delivering more than 1.7 trillion operations per watt.
  • Alternative approaches to radar target detection and classification are improving detection probability and correct classification while lowering false-alarm rates. Electronic protection techniques were developed to improve radar detection, tracking, and imaging of surface objects.
  • The Laboratory developed automation and sonar signal processing algorithms for operational submarine, surface ship, and distributed undersea surveillance systems. Advanced tracking, association, and localization approaches improve operator situational awareness and effectiveness in high-clutter conditions.
  • An unprecedented 128 dB spur-free dynamic range was achieved for an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that uses digital linearization techniques. The system injects a special waveform into the input of the ADC to remove high-order nonlinearities, and then employs digital nonlinear equalization to remove the remaining low-order nonlinearities.
  • An area-search mode for the Air Force’s pod-based, open-architecture Dismount Detection Radar was integrated into the contractor-developed system for flight testing.
  • Working with the intelligence community, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force, the Laboratory developed advanced processing, exploitation, and dissemination software tools and open architectures. Red/blue exercises assessed software operational effectiveness, and architectures for distributed common ground systems were prototyped and evaluated.


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