Chart Data Overlay of Live Video for Submarine Navigation
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-041
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-041 TITLE: Chart Data Overlay of Live Video for Submarine Navigation

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO IWS 5.0, Undersea Warfare Systems

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an augmented reality view capability for live periscope video that creates a clearer view in littoral waters.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy needs an augmented reality capability that overlays chart data and navigation lines of concern on live submarine periscope video. Navigation of submarines in and out of port can be challenging due to local boating traffic and littoral water hazards. Modern submarines are now using the Voyage Management System, which supplies digital nautical charts to the submarine crew (ref. 1). The charts show all the buoys, aids, and hazards of navigation to the navigation team. The Navy seeks to improve this navigation capability further by overlaying chart data and navigation lines-of-concern onto live periscope video to create an augmented reality view when piloting. Adding these features will aid the navigation team decision-making and recommendations to the bridge. Augmented reality technology is being developed for several commercial and military applications (ref. 2). Commercial technologies include applications for smartphones that use the smartphone�s Global Positioning System (GPS) and compass to display augmented reality markers for nearby restaurants, bars, and other businesses in real time. Professional football games are broadcast with augmented reality markers such as first down lines. The Navy seeks to leverage computer gaming technology and / or geographic information systems (GIS) to achieve this capability (ref. 3).

This topic seeks to identify innovative approaches to achieve an augmented reality view of periscope imagery while piloting a submarine. The algorithms should be capable of operating on video from the full spectrum of imaging sensors including visible color, near infrared, short wave infrared (SWIR), mid-wave infrared (MWIR), and long-wave infrared (LWIR) sensors in multiple formats including standard and high definition. The preferred implementation of this algorithm(s) is in the form of a software program capable of running on general-purpose processors.

PHASE I: The company will develop concepts for the augmented reality view as stated in the description section. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the selected concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be developed into a useful product for the Navy. Testing on unclassified sea-based imagery and/or synthetic data along with pertinent charts and other navigation data will establish feasibility. The Navy can provide some unclassified periscope video to support this effort.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II contract statement of work, the company will develop an augmented reality view for live periscope video prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting Navy requirements for an augmented reality view. Algorithm performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into a design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the augmented reality view for live periscope video technology for Navy use. The company will develop an augmented reality view according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use. The augmented reality capability developed under this topic will transition through the Advance Processor Build process and reside on the Integrated Submarine Imaging System (ISIS) system.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: There is a large commercial market for augmented reality products that may be able to use some of the technology developed with this topic, including smartphone applications and broadcast television. Video-based augmented reality navigation systems could benefit merchant ships and other military vessels as well.

1. "Northrop Grumman Submarine Navigation System Upgrade Approved By US Navy." Space War, 15 September 2009.

2. Zhou, Feng, et al. "Trends in Augmented Reality Tracking, Interaction and Display: A Review of Ten Years of ISMAR." Proceedings of the 7th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, pp 193-202, 2008.

3. Kresse, Wolfgang and Danko, David. Springer Handbook of Geographic Information. Springer, 2011.

KEYWORDS: Augmented reality view; piloting a submarine; Voyage Management System; periscope video; chart data overlay for submarine navigation; geographic information system

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