2013 Issue 3, Annual Technical Achievement Awards Presented at PSI

Dec 04, 2013

PSI’s Technical Achievement Awards allow us to formally recognize a few of the most significant accomplishments of our staff. PSI and our subsidiaries perform research over a remarkably diverse range of technical disciplines. Each year there are hundreds of ongoing projects. It is a great challenge to choose the most noteworthy accomplishments from so many good candidates. I am impressed by these achievements every year.

This is the thirtieth year that our company has recognized these achievements by our staff. The technical activities have changed over the years but the quality and depth of the research has not. Sophisticated analysis routines to improve system performance and guide design, careful attention to hardware performance, and creation of innovative new instruments are recurring themes.

This year we recognize three achievements exemplifying extraordinary performance through innovation and flawless execution in the areas of improved detection of radiological materials in a cluttered environment, characterizing and quantifying the performance of a complex space sensor, and achieving unmatched speed and resolution into a compact new instrument that will contribute to early disease diagnosis.

The PSI 2013 Technical Achievement Awards

B. David Green, President and CEO, recently presented the 2013 PSI annual Technical Achievement Awards in recognition of some of the company’s most notable technical accomplishments during the past year.
Poisson Clutter Split (PCS)

Bogdan Cosofret, Kirill Shokhirev and Phil Mulhall were presented with Technical Achievement Awards for their efforts in the successful implementation of the Poisson Clutter Split algorithm into a range of detection platforms. Over the past year they have:

Award 3

Kirill Shokhirev, Phil Mulhall and Bogdan Cosofret

Implemented PCS using the Smiths Detection RadSeeker hand-held radio-isotope identifier and demonstrated a 3-fold increase in range/detection sensitivity while providing identification capability an order of magnitude faster than similar commercially available devices;

Fused the PCS algorithm capability with a commercially available scintillator and smart phone to demonstrate the ability to detect and locate radioactive/nuclear threats using the inertial and compass systems available on the phone;

Adapted the PCS algorithm to work with Raytheon’s Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP). The added PCS capability enabled the ASP to exceed customer requirements where, to date, the system had failed to meet detection probability, false alarm rate, or throughput requirements;

Integrated the PCS algorithm into Raytheon’s Stand Off Radiation Detection System (SORDS) under DNDO funding. When implemented, the PCS algorithm exceeded all customer expectations and provides performance far superior to all other algorithm approaches, and;

Demonstrated the ability to integrate a scintillator capability into Instant Eye and use PCS to detect radioactive/nuclear threats using the data acquired.

As a result of these successes, PSI has received support to continue development of PCS and implement fusion of radiation detection data with hyperspectral data for improved background estimation capability. These activities have also spawned a product development strategy for low-cost PCS-based detection.

Commercial Truck 2

Commercial truck with embedded check source entering a PCS-enabled ASP system at 30 mph

Fig 2

PCS-based real-time (1 Hz) isotope detection and identification using RIID device in containerized environments

GOES-R Flight Project

John Kline of Research Support Instruments, a subsidiary of PSI, was presented a Technical Achievement Award for his work with the Geostationary Operational Envi-ronmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) Flight Project on the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). John also received an award from NASA recognizing his significant role. It reads: “Mr. Kline has been invaluable to the ABI testing program and analysis of the resulting data. He developed a strong working relationship with the NASA team, with the vendor, and with the ultimate customer, NOAA. His accomplishments include determining root causes of some of the processing artifacts of the End-to-End Spectral Response test results. Mr. Kline developed diagnostic methods to evaluate the performance of test equipment, specified hardware to measure this performance, participated in the measurements themselves, and worked to arrive at a common understanding of the issues.

Using those results, Mr. Kline was able to successfully reprocess the data demonstrating significant improvement in the usability and validity of the results. Mr. Kline worked closely with the Calibration Working Group to arrive at a full understanding of calibration test data.

John Kline

Throughout this effort, Mr. Kline has developed multiple engineering analysis tools that have proven invaluable during the ABI test campaign in performing quick independent checks of the analysis results. He developed a tool able to show specific issues with the validity of test and modeling results, and identify required corrections. He then used the MODTRAN atmos-pheric propagation tool to evaluate the consequences of laboratory atmospheric transmission. He used the spectral features of the atmospheric propagation to identify spectral artifacts in the test data and show that spectral-shift errors existed. Mr. Kline’s tools, methods, and quick analysis have allowed the government team to make timely decisions on the path forward. Mr. Kline’s efforts in the test campaign are broadly appreciated by NASA, NOAA, and vendor test support staff.”

Compact Adaptive Optics Retinal Imager

Daniel Ferguson, Mircea Mujat, and Ankit Patel received Technical Achievement Awards for developing a Compact Adaptive Optics Retinal Imager. This team successfully completed the devel-opment of a Compact Adaptive Optics Retinal Imager (CAORI) under PSI IRAD sponsorship. This compact, multi-modal, high-definition, adaptive-optics retinal imaging platform is capable of providing rapidly acquired images of a patient’s eyes for cone-receptor density mapping and precise imaging of many retinal structures.

l-r: Ankit Patel, Daniel Ferguson and Mircea Mujat

Ankit Patel, Daniel Ferguson and Mircea Mujat

This instrument combines the power of Adaptive Optics with PSI’s line-scanning ophthalmoscope technology in a small footprint suitable for clinical operation. The PSI team has not only developed a novel optical platform, but also an improved algorithm that results in improved instrument stability and exceptional images. It is capable of resolving cones within 1 degree of the fovea.
The design, developed and implemented during an IRAD program, originated with an initial prototype fabricated and tested during an NIH-supported Phase II program. Testing of that prototype identified targeted design improvements that were rapidly and efficiently implemented in the CAORI instrument displayed at the ARVO tradeshow in May of 2013. The instrument attracted considerable attention because of the exceptional, single frame retinal images it produced without averaging, from a compact imaging platform.

This prototype instrument forms the basis for our on-going efforts to commercialize CAORI through initial direct instrument sales to researchers to establish acceptance and future routine clinical application.

Retinal Imager

Compact Adaptive Optics Retinal Imager display at the ARVO tradeshow

Contract News

PSI recently received the following SBIR research contracts:

“Improved Silicon Carbide (SiC) Components for Nuclear Appli-cation” from the Department of Energy;

“Ship Wake Velocity Mapping Using InstantEye MAV” from the Navy ONR;

“Optical Coherence Tomography Based Freeze Drying Microscopy”, “Development of a Mini-Lyophilizer for Pharmaceutical Product Formulation and Process Development”, and “Raman/OCT Probe for Real-time Assessment of Oral Health” from the National Institutes of Health.

Donna Lamb

W.J. Kessler, W.J. Marinelli, C.J. Rollins, and B.D. Green

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