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DARPA seeks a better way to see in the dark

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posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 11:08 AM
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Marine Corps Times

The DARPA solicitation — which lists Special Operations Command (SOCOM) as the acquisition organization — wants night vision gear with multiple capabilities. These include short-wave or broad-band infrared cameras that don't require cooling, clip-on infrared weapons illuminators and pointers, and see-through augmented reality heads-up displays. The device must be able to instantly switch from daylight to infrared imagery as lighting changes, as when a soldier moves from a sunny street into a darkened house.

DARPA also wants the night vision gear to resemble commercial sunglasses or eyeglasses, run for 24 hours without recharge, and cost less than $5,000.


Cool man... I want me a set of those sunglasses too!
But of all the DARPA projects we've seen in recent months, this one seems to be taken the least seriously
this little bit, taken from their own SBIR solicitation. page 4 article 5.5 Phase I Proposal Checklist:


The base effort does not exceed $100,000, or $105,000 if technical assistance services are proposed, and six months and the option does not exceed $50,000 and four months. The costs for the base and option are clearly separate, and identified on the Proposal Cover Sheet, in the Cost Volume, and in the statement of work section of the Technical Volume.


I mean come on... DARPA is spending millions to develop the Ironman suit Millions more on Laser weapons and Nano drones, but less that a hundred grand for a new NVG system? Might as well just buy the troops some of those new Google glasses and call it Mission Accomplished right?




posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: HardCorps

The whole time I was reading this I was thinking "man they could save a lot of time and money if they just teamed with the google glass project..."

I don't see it being even remotely possible for the amount of money listed what the point f even making the requests? Just fishing to see if someone comes outa the wood work with something new? Just trying To keep the cost low? A way of prioritizing?
edit on 25-9-2014 by mindseye1609 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: mindseye1609

Apple makes a hood for their new iPhone 6, it's supposed to give you a VR experience to play 3D games and watch movies connect with your friends in real time... If they installed an IR camera they'd be most of the way there..?

Truth is most of the Tech is already out there. But it looks like SOCOM is going to cheap out on the development side.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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Looking at how the military has been used in the last 10 years, I don't think any scientist or engineer should help DARPA. Looking at all the gangstalking technologies that have been used against innocent Americans, I wouldn't help them develop a better toilet seat, let alone advanced technologies.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: HardCorps

Ya I guess it's kinda a lure being cast to show interest. If anyone wants to put 2 and 2 together they are interested but they aren't about to foot the bill. For some reason I see this type of interaction with defense manufacturers as having a higher chance of working out beneficially then when they announce right off the bat that someone's getting rich off the contract. It's gotta attract more confident people ready to do the work and not just trying to collect a check.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 12:26 PM
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Double post..
edit on 25-9-2014 by mindseye1609 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 12:30 PM
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Someone should tell DARPA to poop in one hand and wish in the other one and see which one fills up faster.

They should make Tactical Predator helmets to do what they want. WAY cooler.





posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: SgtHamsandwich

I'm actually very curious as to why it needs to be a sunglasses like unit and not helmet style. Again probably just really shooting for the moon lol.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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Maybe its better to lose trying to make night and day vision and seek to make SDO HMI like optics. Therefore you can observe in night or day the same imagery with magnetic lenses. Might go over budget however. But if perfected can be downsized into actual lenses or glasses. See with magnets eyes, may even pick up projectile paths fired their directions...



2:18,2:54,2:59 somewhat vision may need 360 scan observing panoramic helmets that detect movements out of eye sites as well.
edit on 9/25/14 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 12:45 PM
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a reply to: SgtHamsandwich

that would look cool but I think they have something else in mind


as I said the tech is already there



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 01:26 PM
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a reply to: HardCorps

Oh I agree about the tech. It's there if not real dang close. I understand also that they probably want the sun glass type format for lighter weight and portability reasons.

I personally feel to achieve what they want in a battle situation that a goggle type setup akin to like snow boarding type goggles would be a better fit. They want a lot of tech in a really small package. With goggles you would have a better chance of having enough battery to get close to that 24 hour mark. Less chance of falling off in evasive type situations where your ducking and rolling and generally trying to get the heck out of dodge. They would seal around the eyes protecting from dust and dirt and sand. I feel they would be much more reliable.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: HardCorps

I think that the design parameters that they have laid down, with regard to how they want the finished project to look, are somewhat unrealistic, bearing in mind the budget that they have allowed for it.

There are however, some kinds of glass which can switch opacity, and with the development of new technologies, it may be possible to create such a device as that. What cannot happen, is doing so without a pocket book slightly less restrictive than the one which has been outlined.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 07:31 PM
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a reply to: HardCorps

Actually, that's pretty good pay. A Phase I response is a white paper that outlines some basic research and an approach or two. You don't do any design work past some feasibility studies and enough book time to write the paper. The goal of the phase I work is to convince the bidding agency that you understand the problem and have enough insight to produce a believable solution, on paper.

Phase I's generally net you about $40k. You will spend more resources on doing the illustrations and report formatting than you will in actually doing research.

Generally, somewhere in the phase I response you will put in a cost estimate for developing the concept during phase II. That's not production costs or hard tooling, just for actual research, design and construction of a few prototypes. You will generally pad that out to cover the first idea not working. Presentation of some sort of a half-arsed working prototype is the end of Phase II.

Phase III sees you getting the thing field ready, and running a few off the assembly line. That is yet another cost proposal on the end of Phase II.

You can make a nice living just writing the papers. No one says you have to go to phase II if you win. You can do nothing more than come up with a nice paper and get 40K a pop. But in no way is the phase I award intended to cover design, development or production.

eta:

The bidding agency always asks for the moon on the solicitation. What you claim to actually be able to pull off is part of what gets you the phase I win. If I were bidding this, I'd sidestep the requirement that it look like a pair of sunglasses and go for something more like a very updated NOMAD setup. Mainly because you could likely DO it, and they're already familiar with NOMAD.
edit on 25-9-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:09 PM
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That money is for development, not procurement as far as I can tell. It seems reasonable, since all the needed parts could be OTS.

Here's how I'd do it: sensor from a current mid-range Nikon or Canon SLR (has good night vision), high-res LED microscreen from a cellphone, and a piece of auto-tinting liquid-crystal welder's glass. Keep the gain up on the camera sensor so there's no lag. Put the welding glass over the lens, it has a faster response than any circuit that could adjust the exposure on the sensor and it can be adjusted to let the right amount of light through at all times. And a few other bits. (Controls for the user to adjust brightness, and probably let it save pictures.) But it should be easy to do for the amount of money they're putting on the table. The tricky thing is to package it all nicely and make it rugged enough so the typical idiot out there can't break it through neglect and manhandling.




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