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DARPA Program Pursues To Develop A Camera Tech Mimicking The Brain

Jul, 2021 - By WMR

DARPA Program Pursues To Develop A Camera Tech Mimicking The Brain

Three groups of scientists are developing a system of infrared (IR) camera that requires less data processing, faster operation, and less power usage.

DARPA has declared the beginning of the program Fast Event-based Neuromorphic Camera and Electronics (FENCE) that is designed for enhancing the efficiency of computer-vision cameras through mimicking the way, human brain analyzes information. Three groups of scientists headed by the Raytheon, BAE Systems, as well as Northrop Grumman, are on the mission to develop a system of infrared (IR) camera that requires less data processing, faster operation, and less power usage.

New imaging cameras are increasingly growing sophisticated, however they also are becoming victims for their own triumph. While the state-of-the-art cameras are able to capture images in high-resolution and track the objects with high precision, they can do so through processing large volume of data that is power and time consuming. As per the DARPA, this is okay when the tasks are something similar to tracking the airplane in the clear blue sky, however if the same background is cluttered or begins to change, which is common in case of military operations, the cameras could be soon overwhelmed. Here, the FENCE program desires to create cameras which are event-based and more intelligent owing to the neuromorphic and brain-mimicking circuits usage. What they do is drastically decrease the volume of data needed for handling through disregarding the image’s irrelevant parts. As an alternative to dealing with the entire scene, these event-based cameras focuses only upon the pixels which are changed.

For achieving this, the team from FENCE is working upon a new low-power, low-latency, event-based focal plane array (FPA) infrared (IR), an asynchronous Read-Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC), along with processing layer which helps the ROIC for identifying relevant temporal and spatial signals. New algorithms of learning and digital signal processing would also be required to handle changing, complex backgrounds. Result might be the FENCE sensor which uses below 1.5 watts power. As this new technology aims at the military applications which include robotics, IR search, autonomous vehicles, and tracking, these sensors will require to be adaptable and flexible.

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