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Small Arms Remote detection and tracking
short description
Image recognition sensor and algorithm that determines number of armed enemy personnel within a designated area.
Introduce yourself or your team
My name is Dave Zelm, I am a disabled USAF vet. Survivor of the Pentagon attack and fought in the Iraq war in 2003. I am a single father of 3, and the founder of Zelm Aerospace. Zelm Aerospace mostly does UAV services for agriculture, but I also do wind turbine and building inspections, and promotional videos. My passion is taking on aerospace and engineering projects that are an impossible challenge to most people, but I do what I can anyway, just to see how far I can get. I have no experience with Cubesats, but the premise seems pretty straightforward, and thats why I chose to attempt this project, and offer something different than the usual.
What makes you an ideal candidate for this Challenge?
I'm a combat veteran, and while not at the level of USSOCOM, I sure remember wishing I knew exactly how many bad guys we would encounter when we would push into unfriendly neighborhoods, and run of the mill S-2 wasn't very good. I think my cubesat solution would be better applied to UAV's for the sake of resolution, but it can work on both, and cubesats are pretty tough to hit with an SA-7. I'm your guy because I'm not afraid to screw up, but ultimately I produce perfection. We're building this thing to give our boys another edge out there to stack bodies. Not only that, but hopefully this would cut down on collateral damage. I've been in plenty of firefights on crowded streets, and I feel like having this information handy could help identify the actual threats and who's just stuck outside. I'm your guy because I can learn things quickly. Hell, I had to figure out how to repurpose an agriculture algorithm that counts cornstalks and make it count AK's. I'm an experienced critical thinker and problem solver, and I never accept an initial assessment that says something is too hard to accomplish. I don't have time for bullshit. Zelm Aerospace itself is a stellar example. I founded the business in March, 2017, and have quickly become the go-to expert for using UAV's for agriculture. My reputation has helped me make partnerships with CHS Cenex, University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, Unmanned Applications Institute, General Atomics, Eagleview, Nationwide Insurance, Dronebase, Uplift Data Partners, and Sentera. My education background is mostly self sourced, taking online audits from MIT, University of Queensland, and reading countless research studies. The most valuable education I receive, however, is by talking to people. My farmers, my tech geeks, my engineers, my fellow veterans, all of them provide me with massive specific information, and I absorb it all, and as a result of my confidence and enthusiasm, it energizes the people I bring in. I am also a community college student, because I realize that I still need a piece of paper to confirm I'm not an idiot. In my first semester at Inver Hills Community College, I was able to connect with enough people and get enough accomplished that I was elected president of both Student Senate, and Student Veterans Association. While these are relatively small feats, I think it validates my abilities to bring people together and energize them. My major at Inver Hills is merely a Liberal Arts degree. This was chosen for me, as I am utilizing the VA's Vocational Rehab program, and in order to achieve an Aeronautics degree from Embry Riddle, I must first build the credits. I'm a solid B-student, because lets be honest, a lot of College is busy work, and to quote Rick Sanchez, School is not a place for smart people. In any case, I'm your guy. Come to Minnesota and have a coffee with me, and I'll show you I'm not full of shit, just energy.
Describe your solution.
My solution is a cube sat that uses a long range digital camera to capture and analyze images of a target area and through use of an image recognition algorithm, determine how many armed enemy (or friendly) personnel are present. The algorithm essentially counts the image of a weapon, and to populate the recognition database, my team would have to take images of virtually every modern weapon in use (no muskets or blunderbusses) from several angles, so that when the photoburst occurs over the target area, any weapon present being held, laid on the ground, or slung will be detected and identified.
What is the size of your proposed solution?
Based on your guide lines, I would want it to be as large as possible to be still qualified as a cube sat, to allow for the largest possible imaging array. Mass and Volume are pretty irrelevant at this stage. Its going to be a camera, image processing cpu, Microwave transmitter (Ku Band) and a battery/solar array to keep it powered. there would also have to be some small rcs thrusters to adjust positioning, but these things will still be small enough and cheap enough to launch a bunch at altitude to get coverage of the areas socom needs to. Obviously Afghan/Pakistan, probably Iraq, Ukraine, North Korea, Philippines, would all want dedicated cubesats that could be steered or angled at AO's at those Lat/Longs.
Does your solution help Special Operations Forces missions? How?
If it doesn't whats the point? I feel like it would be useful for teams that are going through remote settlements and want updates for mission planning. It would also be useful in the field as they'd be able to have updated info every 90 or so minutes, as the sat will be at about the 600km range and it takes about 90 minutes to complete an orbit.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for power.
As low as possible. This system would have the ability to be put into a sleep/standby mode when not needed, and it could be reinitiated into an active mode by a single user in the field. I would like the battery to be rather high capacity so that theres never an emergency need for power and the solar array would keep it topped off. I'm not giving you the numbers for this unless my design is accepted.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for thermal control.
The design still has enough space to include radiator panels and or heating elements on the hardware where needed. Everything is well shielded from background radiation due to a propriety racking system that keeps it all sealed up.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for data transfer rate.
Ku band can go up to 50mb/s if needed, if we have enough of a power surplus, however, the data package will be small by design so that its more quickly received and utilized in the field. Think of a single stitched image with red dots wherever a weapon is detected. that will be the ideal deliverable to teams in the field. Received via handheld device. we can integrate it into existing devices if socom has a preference. Image size will be sub 1 gigabyte. I can't say for sure because it changes based on the size of the area requested, and what level of detail you guys will really want.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for data transfer volume (per orbit).
I think 20mb/s should be enough, it will transfer the deliverable in under a minute. We can probably cut that down further as we build it out and test it.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for bus stability and attitude control.
SAS system for attitude control and stability, but also 2 RCS omnidirectional thrusters to make slight changes to eccentricity.
Can you identify any additional platform accommodation requirements for your solution?
Because of the nature of the information being transmitted, It will need hard encryption. I also have consulted a product designer to make it look mean.. I want it to be something that a rival nation's astronaut would look at and be afraid to touch for their safety.
Can your concept can be implemented with current state-of-the-art flight-qualified components, or will it require additional development? Please describe.
There will be some additional development needed to ensure the resolution of the images is high enough for the algorithm to work, while still being small enough to qualify as a cube sat. Or put it on a UAV like I think it should be used.
Intellectual Property: Do you acknowledge that this is only the Concept Phase of the competition, and all ideas are to remain the property and ownership of USSOCOM for future discretionary use, licensing, or inclusion in future challenges?

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