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Lockheed Martin Awarded Contract For LACOSTE Program

LACOSTE is a “first-of-a-kind sensor that takes full advantage of high-altitude platforms, such as the High Altitude Airship, to provide continuous surveillance capabilities." - Dr. Abhijit Mahalanobis.
by Staff Writers
Orlando FL (SPX) Oct 11, 2006
Lockheed Martin received a $4 million contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in support of its Large Area Coverage Optical Search-While Track and Engage (LACOSTE) program, a first-of-its-kind sensor which will provide superiority in tactical surveillance and rapid response.

The 18-month Phase I effort is intended to prove the core concept of image formation using an electronically controlled array of apertures. The total array is the size of the opening through which the camera collects information. The ability to vary the direction and resolution of the system is provided by electronically controlling which apertures are open or closed. This is significant because it allows a smaller, less expensive system to provide high resolution coverage over a large area.

“We will analyze and flow down system requirements as systems integrator, construct the camera, develop and implement the image formation and sensor resource control algorithms and conduct the final demonstrations,“ said Mike Dudzik, director of research and technology at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

According to Dr. Abhijit Mahalanobis, manager and technical lead for the Automatic Target Recognition programs at Lockheed Martin, LACOSTE is a “first-of-a-kind sensor that takes full advantage of high-altitude platforms, such as the High Altitude Airship, to provide continuous surveillance capabilities. It employs novel sensing concepts for high and variable resolution imaging over very large areas, equivalent to an entire urban area.

"It automatically allocates sensing resources to different regions, as needed, to maintain detection and tracking on a large number of objects. This sensor can provide day/night, persistent tactical surveillance of all moving vehicles in a large urban battlefield.“

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Endicott NY (SPX) Oct 13, 2006
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