Neya Systems wins Phase II SBIR to develop limited viewpoint UAV-based 3D modeling capability

Neya Systems has been awarded a Phase II SBIR by the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate (Topic AF131-133) to develop a limited viewpoint 3D reconstruction capability.

Under this Phase II SBIR, Neya is developing VISTAS – View-Impoverished 3D Structure from Airborne Sensors. The key innovation of VISTAS is that it allows unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs) to recover the 3D scene structure using only cameras while operating at large standoff distances. To date, this has not been possible because structure from motion (SFM) algorithms require significant diversity of views of the scene, i.e., large baseline, which are not typically available when operating at long range.

This new capability has the potential to positively impact many current defense-related intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions that benefit from real-time 3D structure, but where gathering a wide range of target views is either impossible (i.e. cross-border surveillance into denied airspaces) or undesirable (to reduce flight time and/or fuel cost). VISTAS allows medium or high altitude unmanned airborne vehicles to capture video at large slant range, while still generating high-quality geometric structure data, providing a new level of capability to the existing U.S. unmanned airborne system fleet.

“If, in addition, this can be done without modifying on-board UAV sensor pods, and can be done in near-real-time with on- or off-board processing, the longevity and capabilities of the current fleet will be greatly enhanced,” said Dr. Mark Allmen, technical lead for the project.

Neya will demonstrate that VISTAS provides performance improvements over state of the art structure from motion algorithms across all viewing configurations and baselines, with particularly improved performance over the state of the art as the baseline decreases.

About Neya Systems LLC
Neya Systems is one of the leading developers of advanced unmanned systems technologies in the United States. Neya works with defense, homeland security, and commercial customers to deliver novel solutions to some of the hardest problems related to autonomy, computer vision, and general unmanned systems development and deployment. Both government- and commercial-sector engineering managers consistently turn to Neya’s team when seeking expertise related to perception in difficult visual conditions.

Distribution A – Approved for Public Release
PA Approval #[88ABW-2014-5008]