CAC Receives Grant from the Department of Defense

The Center for Advanced Communications (CAC) has received a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program grant from the Department of Defense of $240,000. The grant was awarded by the DOD agency, the Office of Naval Research, to purchase test and measurement equipment for conducting advanced research in Through-Wall-Imaging (TWI). The Principal Investigator is Prof. Moeness Amin, and the Co-Principal Investigators are Prof. Ahmad Hoorfar and Dr. Yimin Zhang.

This one-year project will build on CAC’s internationally recognized expertise in the areas of TWI and “urban sensing” or seeing through walls. The equipment purchased from this DOD instrumentation grant will help in the identification and classification of objects behind walls and in enclosed structures. Most important, it will complement CAC’s existing Radio Frequency (RF) TWI facilities, which have been recognized by major government entities as among the best in the country. The outcomes of the work will help advance learning on the diverse problems and challenges facing this emerging and vital technology.

The ability to “see” targets behind obstacles such as walls, doors, and other visually opaque materials has become a powerful tool for a variety of both military and civilian applications. Therefore, there is an urgent need to provide high quality indoor imaging and to improve detection and classification of animate and inanimate objects behind walls. To gain insights into phenomenology and establish bounds on imaging system performance, it is important to acquire measurement capabilities of small translation, oscillation, and vibration motions that are acoustically, mechanically, or self-induced. These capabilities will allow fusion of RF and Acoustic sensing technologies, leading to enhanced motion signature profiling and object characterizations. Specifically, the DOD grant will be used to purchase a wideband signal simulation system and a laser vibrometer. These items will provide a platform to generate real-time wideband radar signals for high-resolution radar imaging, measure acoustic signal penetrations through different types of walls, and sense the vibration of different objects behind walls. As such, it offers the means to verify innovative approaches and to develop optimum solutions to complex problems underlying indoor imaging and leading to reliable source separation, characterization, and localization.

CAC has represented the United States five times in the NATO Task Force on “seeing through the wall.” It has been in the forefront of research and development in urban sensing and through the wall radar imaging. The Center has a Radar Imaging Lab with unique and impressive 3D indoor stationary and mobile data collection capabilities.