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SEERS (Snapshot Spectral Imager for IR Surveillance) will develop a modular, compact and cost effective snapshot spectral imaging system in the infrared domain (0.7-14 µm wavelength). It will be endowed with embedded vision and cognitive fusion capabilities. Robust visibility, robust temperature imaging, gas detection and discrimination, and spill detection will enable event-driven video analysis. Breakthrough performance will be demonstrated in two relevant application scenarios: coastal and road tunnel surveillance
Infrared (IR) imaging and sensing technology has an increasing demand from different key sectors, specially due to increasing requirements on safety and security. Moreover, US and Europe cuts in defence budgets have compelled a move towards commercial and civil applications. Surveillance and monitoring of civil infrastructures is becoming a major area of application for video surveillance equipment and services, with a $57.3bn market expected for 2020.
In this regard, coastal surveillance and confined traffic surveillance are two good examples of the demand for low cost imaging and sensing solutions with versatile capabilities. The two demonstration scenarios in SEERS provide illustrative examples that require:
Isolated IR imaging solutions have given a partial response to some of these requirements through specific systems, usually at a very high cost. However, a comprehensive response to these needs with a versatile device is still missing. Similarly to existing solutions in the visible range, a snapshot spectral imager for the IR range would provide such a response. There is a huge potential impact on rescue operations, safety monitoring and law enforcement in terms of response time, awareness, and operational cost. A SWaP-C (Size, Weight, Power and Cost) approach to snapshot spectral imaging is possible combining uncooled focal plane arrays (FPAs), a multi-aperture optical arrangement, computational imaging techniques, and embedded processing. Following this approach SEERS will enable cognitive image fusion for smart networked operation and event-driven video analysis.
The major goal of SEERS is to develop a snapshot spectral imager in the IR range based on low cost uncooled FPAs, with embedded processing capabilities. The targeted range includes near infrared (NIR), short wavelength infrared (SWIR), mid wavelength infrared (MWIR), and long wavelength infrared (LWIR).
A multisensor approach in a beamsplitting arrangement is to be adopted, combined with multi-aperture (MA) imaging, and embedded processing for cognitive image fusion and image-based measurement. Video rate performance, multispectral video analytics software (VAS) for the IR, and demonstration in a real video management software (VMS) framework in real operational conditions are important goals in SEERS.