U.S., Japan collaborate to navigate
June 17, 2013
- Organizations were responsible for developing, testing, building and evaluating image based navigation technology tailored for airborne applications.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (June 17, 2013) -- The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory recognized five engineers from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's aviation and missile center for their contributions to a joint effort.
Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center Director Eric Edwards presented coins and letters of appreciation to Kelly Risko, Bradley Ellison, Caleb Waddle, Jonathan Mills and Brenda Matkin for their support of the Airborne Image Gyro, or Image Based Navigation project.
"One of the things that we're talking a lot about is collaboration," Edwards said. "That's a big deal ... we [can] be more efficient and work together. But it's even more impressive when we're able to do it across services and with our allies."
AMRDEC, AFRL and Japanese Ministry of Defense's Technical Research and Development Institute worked together to verify an image-based navigation system providing an alternative navigation solution when the Global Positioning System is unavailable.
The organizations were responsible for developing, testing, building and evaluating image based navigation technology tailored for airborne applications. Their goal was to enable precise and robust 3-D motion estimation by simultaneously using multiple different-direction images and enabling global positioning by matching pre-captured geo-registered satellite or aerial imagery.
AMRDEC provided expertise in several key technical areas, including leading the development and testing of geo-registration algorithms; development, characterization, integration and testing of navigation and sensor devices; optical and infrared sensor development, which resulted in a camera head that provided optimal image resolution; and guidance in the selection and testing of the image and signal processing hardware and software, resulting in a more streamlined data collection effort.
Researchers conducted successful captive flight test demonstrations last year at Eglin Air Force Base and earlier this year at a western range. Final near real-time CFT demonstrations will be conducted at Eglin Air Force Base later this year.
John Wilcox, director of AFRL's Munitions Directorate, praised the contributions of the AMRDEC team in a recent letter to Edwards.
He cited the "long hours" and noted, "Our services need a tactical system that will develop a navigation solution when GPS is not available. The results from our combined team efforts will greatly contribute to meeting the warfighters' needs in this vital area."
AMRDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.