Kudenov receives Young Investigator Awards from both Air Force & Navy

September 18, 2014

Dr. Michael Kudenov, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University, has been awarded a Young Investigator Program award from both the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the US Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Kudenov is one of 42 scientists from 32 research institutions who was selected for the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program (YIP). The award of $353,269 will support his research project "Passive Snapshot Remote Sensing of Object Velocity." Dr. Michael Kudenov 
Dr. Michael Kudenov

His current research for the Air Force is focused on developing novel imaging systems, interferometers, detectors, and anisotropic materials related to polarization and spectral sensing, for wavelengths spanning ultraviolet through the thermal infrared. The project's premise is based on observing the Doppler shift in absorption features that naturally occur in sunlight. Kudenov hopes to utilize information learned from Doppler shift to infer the velocity of distant satellites from the ground, making it possible to calculate the satellite's orbit with fewer measurements and with greater precision.

Dr. Kudenov has also been awarded $446,454 from the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program for his project entitled "Passive Standoff Super Resolution Imaging using Spatial-Spectral Multiplexing". He is among a total of 24 YIP winners this year which were selected from 19 academic institutions across the country in disciplines including machine learning, computational biology, optical and acoustic sensors, structural dynamics, material science, corrosion, fluid structure interaction, modeling and simulation, communication, robotics and neural science.

The objective of this research with the Navy is to investigate and experimentally demonstrate diffraction unlimited super resolution imaging, at standoff distances, through the use of a novel Spatial Spectral Multiplexing (SSM) technique. Conventional imaging sensors rely on measuring spatial coherence by use of 2-dimensional (2D) detector arrays and imaging lenses. The lens takes a Fourier transformation  of the scene's angular spectrum, projecting it onto a detector array, to create an image. However, lenses restrict the spatial resolution, resulting in the well-known diffraction limit. While many super resolution techniques exist that approach or exceed the diffraction limit, they come with their own set of limitations. This work will create a new method of imaging that is theoretically free from the conventional diffraction limit while simultaneously avoiding the need for active illumination.

Kudenov received a BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2005 and a PhD in optical sciences at The University of Arizona in 2009. He joined the NC State University College of Engineering in 2012.

Credit: Adapted from the NCSU College of Engineering News Article "Kudenov receives YIP from The Air Force Office of Scientific Research" by Brent Lancaster