Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.16K | Year: 2015
We propose to develop and demonstrate a new sensor platform for isotope and trace-gas analysis that is appropriate for future planetary missions. Among other applications, the technology can enable the collection of isotope ratio data in support of the search for evidence of life within the solar system. Current limitations to in-situ isotope measurements will be overcome by utilizing a capillary absorption spectrometer (CAS). This concept enables high precision measurements within the ultra-small volume (~ 0.1 ml) of a hollow fiber optic capillary and has proven to be three orders of magnitude more sensitive than competing sensors. The proposed effort focuses on transitioning the current lab-based technique to a small size, weight, and power (SWaP) device that can be operated unattended. In Phase I, proposed concepts for improving the system performance, reducing the SWaP, and engineering a field-capable device were proven and specific options down selected. Under Phase II, we will fully develop a general prototype sensor platform, which is applicable to a wide range of isotope ratio and trace-gas analysis applications. Specific examples of the utility and versatility of the concept will be demonstrated by using the system as a stand-alone gas sensor, as well as in combination with both a laser ablation sampler and a gas chromatograph. In addition, a dual laser system will be developed to measure both Carbon (C) and Sulfur (S) isotope ratios. The sensitivity afforded by the proposed system would open up remote analysis of smaller samples than ever before measured, which could be a significant development in the search for biosignatures on other planets and near space objects, as well as in the early Earth rock record.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 950.00K | Year: 2015
ABSTRACT: A versatile and robust system will be developed for accurate measurements of the concentration and temperature of combustion products (e.g., H2O, CO2, CO, and NO). Such diagnostics can provide crucial information for the development and testing of scramjet engines, turbine engines, and standard combustion engines. The system will also be able to provide important characterization of propulsion ground test facilities such as high-enthalpy arc heaters and combustion driven hypersonic wind tunnels. At the heart of the system will be a Mid-IR laser with a relatively wide spectral tuning range that is able to probe the so-called molecular fingerprint spectral region for the species of interest. BENEFIT: A complete laser diagnostic system will be developed that will enable a wide range of measurements useful for Air Force test center facilities. The improved diagnostics capabilities can help lead to better performing engines in a more cost effective manner. The proposed project will also lead directly to a specific line of gas sensor products for combustion monitoring and flow characterization. Furthermore, a general maturation of the Mid-IR laser technology will occur, leading to related products appropriate for a range of other higher volume applications from environmental monitoring to human breath analysis.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015
ABSTRACT: The sensor system requirements for image based navigation that uses passive millimeter wave imaging radiometry will be established based on existing RelNav and AbsNav algorithms that were demonstrated to work in multi-modal imagery. ?Existing flight data will be used to simulate the PMMW imagery for these tests. ?A preliminary design of such a PMMW system will be created. ?Under Phase-II the sensor will be assembled integrated and flown to demonstrate navigation capabilities.; BENEFIT: The US DoD relies upon the availability of GPS for operations of various manned and unmanned platforms, from precision guided munitions, target geolocation, to Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and more. ?GPS however can be jammed or even hacked into. ?The proposed technology will allow various airborne operations to continue even in degraded or complete absence of GPS signal.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.99K | Year: 2016
We propose a novel computational framework for discrimination that incorporates sensor data from observations of the engagement and from kill assessment (KA) that such sensors can provide. The KA information is combined with data from other sensors to improve the discrimination decision and to reduce the probability of correlated shots. Approved for Public Release 16-MDA-8620 (1 April 16)
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 720.01K | Year: 2014
We propose a novel SWIR hyperspectral sensor that departs from the traditional pushbroom meth-od, and is specifically appropriate for vehicle borne, ground to ground applications, as well as for airborne platforms. The sensor takes advantage of compressive sensing, but it does not operate based on sparse sampling of the scene ? in fact, the entire scene is sampled.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 729.83K | Year: 2016
Existing command and control (C2) paradigms for UAS platforms are extremely limited and cumbersome, requiring at least a single operator per UAS, if not more than one operator for each UAS (as is the case with many scientific and commercial UAS platforms). For example, UAS platforms such as the ScanEagle or the Sierra require at least one operator to handle the routing / navigation tasks for the aircraft and another operator to handle and operate the mission-specific payload. In this setting, the UAS platforms actually become a force-divider instead of a force-multiplier. The requirement of multiple operators for each individual UAS platforms is problematic for commercial applications where the high cost of human operators would inhibit many key applications such as package delivery from becoming financially viable. To address these issues, Opto-Knowledge Systems Inc (OKSI) and Analytical Graphics Inc (AGI) are joining forces to design, demonstrate, and deliver a robust multiple Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) semi-autonomous command and control tool that will enable a single human operator to manage multiple UAS platforms concurrently. Though there has been significant research into the single-operator multiple UAS control paradigm, there are currently no existing commercially available tools for this application. This work is aimed at shoring up this gap by creating the Single-Operator Multiple Autonomous Vehicle (SOMAV) command and control tool that will be integrated with AGI?s Systems Tool Kit (STK) software and sold commercially at the end of the Phase-II program.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2016
OKSI proposes to design an optical system to support assisted or automated precision approach of fixed or rotary wing aircraft, or other low altitude airspace operations, under diverse weather conditions. The Infrared Beacon System (IRBS) will utilize beacon lighting located near the landing site and an optimized imaging and processing system onboard the aircraft. Automated software will extract observed light positions to generate aircraft position and attitude data relative to the landing site. This precise navigational guidance will be provided to the pilot or to another control system for use during approach and landing. In Phase-I, the concept will be developed in detail, including selection of lighting sources, operating wavebands, imager technology, and frame rates. The end-to-end system performance and accuracy will be simulated over a diverse set of weather and solar conditions, and preliminary concepts for output interfaces will be developed. Based on the Phase-I investigations, a prototype system will be developed and demonstrated in Phase-II.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 730.83K | Year: 2016
OKSI proposes a minimally invasive in-flight diagnostic to measure heat shield recession during flight tests. These measurements can be used to validate models and ultimately optimize heat shield design to reduce weight while maintaining sufficient safety margins. The concept has two components: 1) specially designed heat shield plugs and 2) a remote spectral sensor.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 520.25K | Year: 2015
DoD is currently using active sensors (LADAR and RADAR) to support terrain following to avoid enemy RADAR. Digital Elevation Maps are also used but the associated inaccuracies limit the minimum safe operating altitude to greater than 500 ft. DoD applications require 100% passive, day/night obstacle detection and avoidance for the use of UAS operating in combat arenas. The meet these requirements, OKSI (teaming with Georgia Institute of Technology) is developing the Stereo Obstacle Avoidance Rig (SOAR).SOAR utilizes a single forward-looking camera combined with real-time Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithms to produce 3D visualizations of the terrain. The 3D information is converted to a point cloud and fed to the obstacle avoidance and route planning software that autonomously maneuvers to avoid obstacles while maintaining low al-titude and arriving at the desired destination. The ultimate goal of the SOAR program is to develop robust hardware and algorithms for low light, passive terrain sensing. The SOAR system will provide the Navy, other DoD agencies, and even consumers with a solution for real-time obstacle avoidance for large and small airborne platforms.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015
OKSI and Professor Frank Dellaert of Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) are teaming up to develop an ultra-low cost passive low-SWaP spherical situation awareness sense/avoid system based upon monocular stereo vision (i.e., stereo-from-motion) for small UAS platforms operating within the NAS. When flying close to the ground (e.g., during takeoff and landing) obstacles such as cars, trees, buildings, power lines, people, and so on are not equipped with beacons. In this setting, the ability to actively detect obstacles within the environment in real-time and to take evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions is a required capability for safe operation in the NAS. Currently, there are no existing technologies that sufficiently address the sense/avoid problem associated with operation of small UAS platforms (