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San Diego, CA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.98K | Year: 2010

Under this program QUASAR Federal Systems (QFS) will team with Dr. David Hull’s EM Sensing Group at the Army Research Lab (ARL) to integrate a state-of-the-art QFS induction sensor with a COTS piezo-electric sensor and a low power DAQ in a compact, air-droppable package. The sensor will be based on the QFS 6” long 3-axis induction sensor, reconfigured to fit in a “smart bomb” shape package. The sensor package will be capable of detecting and monitoring electrical, mechanical, and human activity in and around underground facilities. The package to be developed under this program will have the following features. It will be air deployable, offer state-of-the-art sensitivity, offer user selection for data collection modes, transmit processed data to the user via a wireless link, incorporate an intelligent data fusion algorithm, and be low enough cost to be considered disposable. Phase I will focus on establishing the feasibility of making the package air-deliverable, and Phase II will develop and prototype and collect experimental data to define its performance characteristics. BENEFIT: The primary customer for the first product will be the Department of Defense. The device to be developed under this project will offer the DoD a sensing solution that can be easily deployed by air, improving personnel safety and allowing use in difficult terrain. Commercial applications include resource exploration, geophysical science, and space applications.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.93K | Year: 2011

Sonobuoys are used in marine surveillance to provide information regarding detection and classification of marine vessels by employing acoustic sensors. However, there are situations, particularly in littoral environments, in which the efficacy of acoustic sensors can be significantly compromised. In these instances, some level of performance enhancement may be possible by using supplementary sensing techniques such as electromagnetic sensing. Current electric-field sensors, used for detection and classification of marine vessels, collect only horizontal electric-field measurements. A sonobuoy capable of also collecting vertical electric field measurements would enable exploitation of all electric-field signals emanating from a submerged vessel. These signals may be particularly useful in environments in which the quality of acoustic data from traditional sonobuoys is compromised. QUASAR Federal Systems proposes to develop an innovative underwater E-field sensor appropriate for collecting vertical E-field measurements over a large effective aperture that can be integrated with sensors that measure the horizontal E-field components. The vertical E-field sensor will be a low-cost design suitable for scale-up to mass production. The E-field sensors developed in the present program will be integrated into a standard sonobuoy in collaboration with Ultra Electronics Undersea Sensor Systems Inc (USSI) and validated and tested in an open ocean environment.

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2014

Lightning discharges within or near critical facilities can disrupt activities or result in damage. Although existing lightning locating systems can geolocate breakdown processes with accuracies of 10s of meters at heights above 1.5-2 km, they do not accurately report ground strike locations or provide estimates of current and charge transfer. In addition, conventional VLF/LF LLS networks do not currently report lightning channels descending towards or contacting ground with enough accuracy to address this problem. There is a need for a system that can improve location accuracy and detection efficiency. Under this NASA STTR program, QUASAR Federal Systems proposes to team with Professor Ken Cummins of the University of Arizona to develop a lightning detection sensor based on an SoA 6-axis EB vector sensor and unique location and characterization algorithm. In Phase I, we will perform a feasibility study of using a 6-axis EB sensor to address NASA "total lightning detection" needs in location accuracy and detection efficiency. This will include both analysis and limited field measurements. We will also identify a system architecture and key components for the Phase II prototype. In Phase II of the project, we will develop a scientific prototype to demonstrate the technology with field data.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Special Operations Command | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2011

The proposed Phase II SBIR Program aims to develop and test a compact, integrated system suitable for conducting RF direction finding (DF) and geolocation in near-real time from a small airborne platform. QUASAR Federal Systems will produce a system suitable for integration into Unmanned Aircraft Systems as small as a MEUAS (e.g., Boeing ScanEagle) or an aerostat and provide both signal interception and geolocation of multiple signals in the 30 MHz 500 MHz range in near real time. The proposed technology has several advantages over traditional DF approaches. Primarily, it offers the capability to provide geolocation from a single position, using antenna elements that are much smaller, less obvious, and potentially better camouflaged as compared with the multiple antenna elements used by traditional DF techniques. The program is divided into Base and Option Phases. The culmination of the base program will be a balloon or tower-mounted demonstration. The program end goal is a successful demonstration of a system mounted on a customer-selected UAV or aerostat at the completion of the Option Phase.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.97K | Year: 2011

The use of underground facilities has become increasingly common with organizations that seek to conceal themselves and their activities. With the increased prevalence of these clandestine facilities comes an increased need for a detection and localization capability. Most sizable underground facilities incorporate an electrical power source and means for distribution. Power distribution engenders electrical current, which in turn produces magnetic fields, which oscillate at the AC line frequency. Magnetic fields at this frequency are difficult to shield, and their propagation is virtually unaffected by soil or ground cover. Therefore, magnetic field sensors are a logical choice for monitoring underground facilities, and have been deployed for this purpose in various forms. QUASAR Federal Systems proposes to design and build a compact, air deployable system for localizing underground tunnels/facilities. The cornerstone of the system will be our highly sensitive 3-axis magnetic field sensor. Prior air deployable magnetic sensors have been single-axis. Measuring all 3 field components offers the capability to determine the total field magnitude and direction, thus facilitating the determination of tunnel direction and location. Seismic sensors based on piezoelectric cable sensors will be also be integrated to reject background noise and enhance the detection capability of the magnetic sensors. BENEFIT: The result of this project will be a system of air dropppable sensors and processing to acquire and interpret electromagnetic data for the purpose of detecting and localizing underground targets of interest to the DoD. The benefit to the DoD will be ease of depolyment, covertness, and target detection. Commercial applications exist in resource exploration and geophysics.

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