The US Navy has awarded a contract to Bodkin Design & Engineering to develop a hyperspectral-imaging system for naval periscopes to enhance target identification and tracking.

The system will be integrated into Type 18 periscopes and AN/BVS-1 photonics masts to perform contact recognition and identification in marine environments.

Type 18 periscopes with digital image capturing capabilities are in common use on the Navy’s attack submarines while the AN/BVS-1 photonics mast exists entirely outside the hull of the vessel.

The imaging system will be designed to capture both spectral and spatial information in one instantaneous video frame to eliminate motion artefacts that may damage the conventional scanned systems, enabling high-fidelity data to be obtained from moving objects.

In order to fulfil the Navy’s need for automatic contact recognition and identification the hyperspectral imaging device must allow continuous collection and real-time transmission of hyperspectral data cubes.

The system has no moving parts and provides high-resolution spectra in a compact, ruggedised, low-cost package.

Following the successful $70,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase 1 contract a prototype design will be built and tested in Phase II of the project.