Sandia National Labs Academic Alliance Collaboration Report 2020-2021


Seeing through naturally occurring aerosols such as fog or man-made aerosols can create degraded visual environments that severely impact transportation, aviation, astronomy, remote sensing, security, surveillance, and more. Fog is particularly concerning because it occurs in all climates and at certain locations with high frequency. Current methods that provide a mechanism for seeing through aerosols are costly and limited to only a few meters. In response, one LDRD led by Brian Bentz in Sandia’s Applied Science and Technology Maturation department is addressing this problem by developing a computational imaging and optimization approach that combines the information from many light detectors to potentially image 10 times deeper into aerosols than current imaging methods.

Importantly, integration of this new capability into existing infrastructure would only require software modifications

because data from conventional detectors, such as infrared (IR) cameras, can be used. Applications include improving image/visual quality for site and asset protection, early warning systems, harbor security, maritime navigation,

locating adversarial targets and systems, and guidance for aviation and unmanned vehicles.

Purdue professor Kevin Webb and his electrical and computer engineering students in the Webb Group pursue fundamental research at the interface of physics, mathematics, and various application domains. They’ve explored approaches to imaging using laser light in scattering media, touching applications in diverse environmental sensing and in vivo imaging. The group discovered a means to image based on speckle pattern changes, a phenomenon that occurs with laser light in a scattering medium, such as fog, that hides a moving object. Building on the work of the group, Purdue partnered


Sandia Academic Alliance Program

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