Facial Recognition

Problem

Covert and robust facial recognition of individuals is a goal for military check points, law enforcement and border control. Facial recognition in the visible spectrum is an important biometric modality. The performance of facial recognition systems can significantly degrade in uncontrolled settings, which in turn hinders database enrollment and limits the circumstances under which verification and identification can take place. While visible imagery facial recognition has increased in maturity, there are situations, particularly at night or in dark settings, in which visible will not work and thermal imaging is required. However, thermal imaging relies on temperature differences to provide contrast in scenes. But for scenes that don’t have significant temperature differences, recognition or identification cannot be accomplished. Thermal signatures of human faces rarely have sufficient contrast to provide the features necessary for recognition algorithms.

Solution

Polarization enhanced thermal cameras have been shown to produce significant contrast on human faces, providing rich geometric and textural features similar enough to visible signatures that there is good potential identification of facial features. Further, this approach enables passive (i.e. no external illumination required) day / night capability. Polarization can address the capability gaps in low-light and nighttime face recognition by acquiring naturally emitted radiation in the thermal infrared spectrum from facial skin tissue. The polarimetric images capture key facial details and geometry not available in conventional thermal imagery. Facial recognition software using novel algorithms is capable of matching polarimetric thermal facial imagery to the visible spectrum face. This approach provides interoperability with existing biometric databases containing visible-only face imagery (e.g., watchlists).

Camouflaged Object Detection

Problem

Camouflage is designed to fool visible light sensors as well as the human eye by making an object blend into the surrounding area. Classic infrared thermal sensors may also be fooled if the camouflaged object is the same temperature as the background clutter.

Solution

Polarization enhanced thermal imagery can drastically increase the contrast levels between camouflaged objects and background clutter. Furthermore, with Pyxis® technology users can combine the polarized image with the thermal image and add a colored overlay to identify objects of interest regardless of military or non-military nature.

Infrared Search and Track

Problem

Locating and tracking hostile forces is a top priority for the Department of Defense, Federal Intelligence Agencies, Department of Homeland Security, and the Justice Department. A large part of finding targets is gathering information to identify a pattern of behavior to better protect against any impending threats, but enemy targets are not the only people who need to be searched for. Lost hikers, victims of kidnapping, and other missing individuals are in need of being found to be brought back to safety. Searching in the visible spectrum is only effective when done in daylight hours, but even then it can miss several signs that would be caught with other modes of detection. Radio frequency based location methods are successful, but are unable to provide eyes on intelligence.

Solution

Electro-optical tagging technologies are quickly emerging as a demonstrated alternative to radio frequency based technologies with the advantage of being able to visually locate, tag, and track a person or object of interest. Taggant Identification Pod – Night Vision (TIP-NV) is a device that attaches to the front of a standard military night vision scope. When viewing the target scene, the device selectively filters the taggant into and out of the scene thus causing the tag to flash at the operator. The flashing effect decreases the time it takes to acquire the target and provides a verifiable means to identify the tagged target.

Intelligence Reconnaissance Surveillance

Problem

Intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance (ISR) is central for gathering and processing information taken from weather on a battlefield, a police stakeout, or many other commercial situations. Although collecting information in the visible spectrum can be helpful, it leaves untold amounts of information still ungathered — especially in low-light or night-time scenarios. Failing to amass necessary data may lead to mission failures, poor target identification, monetary losses, and even fatalities.

Solution

Through the use of polarization enhanced thermal imaging sensors, information will no longer be sparse. Polaris’ eTherm will detect anything from power lines to disturbed earth. With this new higher level of intelligence gathering applications could range from flight planning to IED detection.

Far Target Locator

Problem

There are four variables that must be defined in order to determine the location of a target on Earth. There azimuth, or bearing, to the target; distance (range); vertical angle (elevation); and self-position (latitude, longitude, and altitude above sea level). The largest source of Target Location Error (TLE) in existing Far Target Location (FTL) systems is accurately determining azimuth. In most cases, azimuth errors in the guidance of man-portable weapon systems would lead to failure of target acquisition and destruction, and possibly endanger friendly forces. Currently available high accuracy (1-4 mil, where mil is a milliradian or 0.56°) azimuth sensors are expensive, bulky, heavy and power hungry; require up to 4 minutes for set up; and/or have availability issues. Digital magnetic compasses have long been an inexpensive means for azimuth determination, but they are hindered by magnetic interference and offer only marginal accuracy.

Solution

The Sky Polarization Azimuth Sensing System (SkyPASS®) is a high accuracy, low SWaP-C solution for determining azimuth within 1-2 mills for any platform requiring accurate heading information including man-portable weapon systems. SkyPASS is not hindered by many of the operational limitations seen in the current azimuth sensing methodologies. SkyPASS provides accurate azimuth in real-time, does not require leveling, and can even assist in determining orientation when GPS is unavailable.

Non-Incendiary Obscurants

Problem

Smoke grenades produce smoke by igniting a chemical reaction inside of a canister, and releasing the resulting smoke through holes in the top and bottom of the canister. The ignition that sets off this process makes smoke grenades a fire hazard, or worse an explosive hazard given the right environment. In the presence of dangerous chemicals during drug raids, or when a warfighter is attempting to signal an incoming aircraft, removing the ignition from a smoke grenade would mean safety for the user as well as any innocent bystanders and their property.

Solution

Polaris’ CoolSmoke® produces large smoke clouds with a non-incendiary reaction. The fuse for CoolSmoke is non-pyrotechnic and does not produce any sparks. The ignition time, discharge time, and smoke output compares favorably to current industry leaders. The CoolSmoke grenade can be dropped in water, thrown, or launched and has practical applications in law enforcement, military, entertainment/gaming, and as an insecticide. These capabilities add safety without detracting from the quality of the product, and it can cost as little as half the current price for a smoke grenade produced by current industry leaders.