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Proceedings Paper

Biomimetic optical sensor for aerospace applications
Author(s): Susan A. Frost; George E. Gorospe; Cameron H. G. Wright; Steven F. Barrett
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Paper Abstract

We report on a fiber optic sensor based on the physiological aspects of the eye and vision-related neural layers of the common housefly (Musca domestica) that has been developed and built for aerospace applications. The intent of the research is to reproduce select features from the fly’s vision system that are desirable in image processing, including high functionality in low-light and low-contrast environments, sensitivity to motion, compact size, lightweight, and low power and computation requirements. The fly uses a combination of overlapping photoreceptor responses that are well approximated by Gaussian distributions and neural superposition to detect image features, such as object motion, to a much higher degree than just the photoreceptor density would imply. The Gaussian overlap in the biomimetic sensor comes from the front-end optical design, and the neural superposition is accomplished by subsequently combining the signals using analog electronics. The fly eye sensor is being developed to perform real-time tracking of a target on a flexible aircraft wing experiencing bending and torsion loads during flight. We report on results of laboratory experiments using the fly eye sensor to sense a target moving across its field of view.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2015
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9480, Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications XII, 94800M (13 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2176662
Show Author Affiliations
Susan A. Frost, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
George E. Gorospe, SGT, Inc. (United States)
Cameron H. G. Wright, Univ. of Wyoming (United States)
Steven F. Barrett, Univ. of Wyoming (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9480:
Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications XII
Gary Pickrell; Eric Udd; Henry H. Du, Editor(s)

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