NASA STTR 2006 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Remote Sensors for Entry, Descent and Landing Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE:Optical Obstacle Avoidance System for Lunar and Mars Landing

NAME: Fibertek Inc NAME:The Johns Hopkins University
ADDRESS:510 Herndon Pkwy ADDRESS:3400 N. Charles St.
CITY:Herndon CITY:Baltimore
STATE/ZIP:VA  20170-5225 STATE/ZIP:MD  21218-2683
PHONE: (703) 471-7671 PHONE: (410) 516-8186

William E Torruellas

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The systems developed at fibertek for Obstacle-Avoidance has so far all been operated at 1560nm. Such an operation is required due to the required eye-safety constraint. This wavelength range has so far shown reduced efficiency to a 30% optical-optical efficiency in the last stage of optical amplification in the fiber based transmitter we have developed. For space applications, we believe a highly efficient transmitter will be required with associated optical receiver technology. We propose here to develop a highly efficient, very versatile transmitter based on Ytterbium-doped fiber amplifiers. Associated with this transmitter we will demonstrate a coherent detection system allowing for both range and velocity measurements during space vehicle landing. The technology required for the transmitter/receiver and scanning is at TRL 5. A successful Phase II STTR should allow for field testing bringing this TRL to 6.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Obstacle Avoidance is required for NASA missions requiring unmanned vehicles or missions were the operator has limited visibility of its surroundings. In particular, early unmanned missions to the Moon and to Mars will require such systems. In order to perform safe landing resolutions of the order of a few centimeters will be required. In addition, velocity and wind profiles will also be required in the case of a Mars landing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The US military plans to invest heavily in next generation unmanned vehicles. These robots will require a complex sensor system that is compact, efficient and very affordable. The proposed multifunctional and modular Lidar system allowing 3D range mapping & velocimetry is ideally suited for these applications.
It is also conceivable that a short range version of the proposed instrument could be affordable and of interest to the automobile industry.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Optical & Photonic Materials
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics

Form Printed on 09-09-06 13:11