Warfighters have a whole suite of cameras they can use to see in the dark, through fog or smoke, and in broad daylight--but that's actually a problem, according to DARPA. Nobody wants to carry a suite of things. It would be better to have just one item that can do everything your suite could do.
DARPA wants a multi-band head-up display, which could be mounted to a helmet or a weapon scope, that combines several wavelengths of light into one image. Sunny? No problem--the camera can see in visible light. Smoke bomb blocking your view? No sweat; the camera can see thermal infrared signatures. The system would also have near-infrared capability to help users see through darkness.
A new DARPA project called the Pixel Network for Dynamic Visualization (PIXNET) seeks proposals for new sensors that can do all of this in one package. A successful proposal would be small, lightweight, low-power and low-cost, said Nibir Dhar, DARPA program manager for PIXNET. The system would communicate wirelessly with Android-based smart phones to fuse the images together, like you can see in the inset above. The warfighter would see a scene with visible imagery, thermal sensitivity and near-IR capability all in one.
Existing sensors are a good starting point, but they're not advanced enough to combine multiple functions the way DARPA wants. Combining reflective and thermal bands will be a challenge, not to mention making it ultra-portable. "What we really need are breakthroughs in aperture design, focal plane arrays, electronics, packaging and materials science," Dhar said. The solicitation is online here.
Interesting...instead of having the heads-up display on a smartphone, why not project it on the soldier's goggles? The technology exists, and the soldier wouldn't have to constantly look up every few seconds/minutes. However, the heads-up display on the goggles could interfere with the soldier's normal vision. Hmmm...maybe he/she could just turn it off when it's not needed?
Last year at university of canterbury i came onto a realization of what the future hold for displays and infact the future of cell phones.
I have spent nearly 2 years developing my idea and its capabilities.
If i'm not mistaken darpa had already claimed they had working hardware/software for such a simple yet incredibly complex design. But all i found was a single image.
Innovation and realization is what i have so far.
If Darpa would like a presentation of my ideas then contact me on skype, SumGuyNZ
Because "your future" is in front of you.
Not in your pocket!
I'm noticing a trend. PopSci is often just behind FoxNews on covering interesting tech stories. The only original stuff they have is the crap on global warming and evolution.
It seems like this comes to a few issues:
(1) Software fast enough but efficient enough to layer and adjust these images in real time without needed a large processor or massive energy requirements.
(2) The means either to get high resoultion from cameras with small objective lenses (so that multiple cameras can be combined like the cylinders of a revolver) or a way to stack the lenses to film multiple layers without shading out the lenses behind them. Of course, a broad spectrum lenses that could see everything from heat up to UV spectrums would also work if the software could make that intellegible.
(3) They want the info on a HUD - so, projected on (or into) some sort of eyeware for real time use by the soldier, but they also want it portable for (A) off site recording and playback, (B) strategic intel in real time, and (C) so that the same system can be put on unmanned systems but seen by the local soldiers (like on a robotic scout).