Compact, spatially agile sensors

This project is pursuing significant improvements in the military utility of compact hyperspectral imaging sensors.

Conventional spectral sensor systems enable images to be collected looking only directly down to the Earth from the unmanned manned aircraft on which the imager is mounted. This restricts the range of operating environments in which the technology can be used.

The ability to tilt the view angle of the sensor and look ‘off-nadir’ enables the image to be acquired at a distance from the target area, such as flying above the open ocean and looking towards a beach or coastal environment. Advanced image processing and analysis techniques including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-learning methods are needed to rapidly and accurately interpret these images, and to identify objects of interest from within the complex images.

In conjunction with University of Technology Sydney and industry partner HyVista, DMTC’s Compact, Spatially Agile Spectral Sensor (C-SASS) project has successfully developed and flown a prototype hyperspectral imaging system that can be pointed off-nadir, and has made other key advances including in the software used to analyse and process the images. C-SASS can change its look angle, it has a very low signal to noise level and can be mounted on a wide range of aircraft including drones.

The project partners are now looking to finalise the development of this system towards operational readiness.