For many intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) tasks, the challenge has moved from data collection to data exploitation. However, challenging sets of targets and signals have eluded traditional detection methods and are not readily exploitable. This can be because targets of interest do not present readily-detectable or interpretable signatures. Such challenges are illustrated in detecting activity underground, underwater and inside buildings. Other examples include detection of chemical or biological materials where remote detection techniques cannot discern between a threat and the natural environment.
STO seeks new, innovative methods for Finding Difficult Targets that could include combining sensor modalities, exploiting new algorithms, and developing new system concepts and processing techniques, as well as new approaches that measure active and/or passive secondary signatures. STO is interested in new approaches for the design of low-cost, adaptable sensors that leverage commercial technologies and processes to reduce development time and cost, and increase adaptability and technology refresh rate of sensor systems.