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Torrance, CA, United States

Patent
Physical Optics Corp. | Date: 2014-08-04

Tracer ammunition is disclosed and includes a projectile having a body; a chamber in the body having a front end and a rear end, the rear end of the chamber being open; an aperture at a rear end of the body providing an opening to the open end of the chamber; and a tracer material disposed within the chamber, wherein the tracer material is configured to combust when ignited and emit optical energy through the aperture as a result of the combustion process. The tracer material may be configured to include a rear-facing surface having a concave contour to aid in directivity of light output from the tracer material.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 748.61K | Year: 2016

Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to continue the development of a novel Embedded Multifunctional Optical Sensor (EMOS) System. The EMOS addresses NASA�s need for in situ sensor systems for use on rigid and/or flexible ablative thermal protection system (TPS) materials to measure multiple TPS structural, aerothermal, and aerodynamic response parameters including temperature, heat flux, and pressure. EMOS is based on use of novel materials for high-temperature operation and uniquely designed fiber optic microsensors. The EMOS system is capable of simultaneously measuring multiple TPS response parameters (e.g., pressure, temperature, and heat flux) using a suite of miniature (diameter 1500 degrees C and measurement errors within 0.4% for temperature sensors, 0.2% for pressure sensors, and 20% for heat flux measurement. The outcome of the Phase I EMOS program was the successful feasibility demonstration of the proposed EMOS technology, capable of operating at temperatures at >1500 degrees C. At the end of Phase II, POC will perform a technology readiness level (TRL)-6 demonstration of the EMOS at POC or at NASA facilities, and will deliver to NASA a fully operational EMOS system prototype.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2016

To address NASA's need for compact optical isolators, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to continue the development of a new Miniature Optical Isolator (MOI). The novel optical isolator design is based on enhanced magneto-optical (MO) effects in magnetic photonic crystals. The innovation in the technology is its capacity to engineer MO effects not only by choosing the right material but also by adjusting the lattice parameters of 1 dimensional photonic crystals. While occupying a very small volume (~0.1 cm^3), a MOI device will achieve high optical transmission (2 dB or less forward loss) and excellent optical isolation (40 dB) at target wavelengths at a low cost. Therefore, the MOI technology directly addresses NASA's requirements for a compact, robust optical isolator for applications in cold atom systems. In Phase I, POC demonstrated the feasibility of the MOI technology through modeling and analysis, as well as fabrication of a proof-of-concept prototype with basic performance parameters characterized. In Phase II, POC will further optimize the device and fabricate prototypes for validation of key performance metrics, as well as evaluate life cycle and environmental performance.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2016

To address NASA's need for advanced nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of complex built-up spacecraft structures, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Penetrating Backscatter X-ray Imaging (PRAXI) system for in situ single-sided, three-dimensional (3D) NDE of the integrity of spacecraft components and structures. The PRAXI system is based on a novel approach for 3D Compton-based structural imaging, which requires only a small number of images for 3D data reconstruction. These new features enable PRAXI to achieve 10x faster operating speed, smaller form factor, and smaller weight, compared to Compton imaging tomography (CIT), previously developed by POC. The proposed PRAXI system will allow noncontact, single-sided inspection of various spacecraft structures (such as micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) shields, pressure vessels, inflatable habitats, and thermal protection systems), either for in-space NDE or for on-ground material development and quality control. In Phase I POC will demonstrate the feasibility of using the PRAXI system for NDE of spacecraft components by fabricating and testing a TRL-4 prototype, with the goal of achieving technology readiness level (TRL)-6 by the end of Phase II and delivering the prototype to NASA.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2016

Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop the Orbital Fiber Optic Production Module (ORFOM), which addresses NASA's needs for sustainable space operations and full utilization of the International Space Station (ISS). ORFOM is an orbital scientific payload that will be capable of optical fiber draw in zero gravity onboard the ISS, and specifically "ZBLAN" fluoride glass fiber which is capable of transmission from ultraviolet (UV) to mid-wave infrared (MWIR). When produced on Earth, ZBLAN glass fibers exhibit excessive loss due to crystallization; however, this crystallization can be suppressed in zero gravity. Low down-mass and the high value of low-loss ZBLAN fiber make it an ideal candidate for commercial ISS utilization. During Phase I, we will design and assemble a prototype fiber draw system that will have the size, weight, and power (SWaP) to fit into a NanoRacks ISS payload bay. We will also demonstrate a novel fiber draw process using an in-situ coating and a method to start the fiber draw from a preform that can be used in zero gravity. In Phase I, POC will develop a compact Technology Readiness Level (TRL)-4 version of the ORFOM, and formulate a preliminary Mission Plan, which will be implemented in Phase II. We will also explore commercial applications such as rare-earth-doped fiber for fiber lasers.

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