DARPA启动低能见度无人机红外导航传感器研制计划(英文)

据defenseworld2020年3月2日报道,DARPA启动红外传感器或为避开敌人在低能见度条件下导航的“隐形前照灯”研制计划。上周DARPA宣布:“自主和半自主系统需要主动照明设备进行夜间或地下导航,前照灯或其他发光系统开关如激光雷达有一大缺陷,就是即使离得很远,也使车辆在对手面前暴露无遗。”该计划旨在获取并量化各种环境中的环境热排放信息,创建利用这些信息的新型被动3D传感器和算法,计划包括发现、优化和先进样机三个阶段。

09:11 AM, March 2, 2020

The US Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a program to develop infrared (IR) sensors or “invisible headlights” for navigation in low visibility conditions to stay hidden from advesaries.

“Autonomous and semi-autonomous systems need active illumination to navigate at night or underground. Switching on visible headlights or some other emitting system like lidar, however, has a significant drawback: It allows adversaries to detect a vehicle’s presence, in some cases from long distances away,” DARPA said in a statement last week.

“Since everything—animate and inanimate—gives off some thermal energy, the goal is to discover what information can be captured from even an extremely small amount of thermal radiation and then develop novel algorithms and passive sensors to transform that information into a 3D scene for navigation,” the statement read.

DARPA’s Invisible Headlights program seeks to discover and quantify information contained in ambient thermal emissions in a wide variety of environments, and to create new passive 3D sensors and algorithms to exploit that information, the research agency said.

“We’re aiming to make completely passive navigation in pitch dark conditions possible,” said Joe Altepeter, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. “In the depths of a cave or in the dark of a moonless, starless night with dense fog, current autonomous systems can’t make sense of the environment without radiating some signal—whether it’s a laser pulse, radar or visible light beam—all of which we want to avoid. If it involves emitting a signal, it’s not invisible for the sake of this program.”

The program includes three phases: 1) Discovery – to determine if thermal emissions contain sufficient information to enable autonomous driving at night or underground; 2) Optimization – to refine models, experimental designs, and ensure system feasibility for achieving 3D vision at both low speeds (<25 mph) and high speeds (>25 mph); and 3) Advanced Prototypes – to build and test passive demonstration systems that compete with active sensors.

“If we’re successful, the capability of Invisible Headlights could extend the environments and types of missions in which autonomous assets can operate – at night, underground, in the arctic, and in fog,” Altepeter said. “The fundamental understanding of what information is available in ambient thermal emissions could lead to advances in other areas, such as chemical sensing, multispectral vision systems, and other applications that exploit infrared light.”