NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 A1.04-9528
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aviation External Hazard Sensor Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multifunction Lidar for Air Data and Kinetic Air Hazard Measurement

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ophir Corp
10184 West Belleview Ave Suite 200
Littleton, CO 80127 - 1762
(303) 933-2200

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Loren M. Caldwell
10184 West Belleview Ave., Suite 200
Littleton, CO 80127 - 1762
(303) 933-2200

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Ophir proposes to develop a multifunction, low-cost lidar capable of accurately measuring kinetic air hazards, and air data, simultaneously. The innovation is providing a single sensor that has dual-use functionality – air data measurement and kinetic air hazard detection in a package that is easily integrated onto commercial aircraft. Conventional air data systems provide critical information to the aircraft for safe flight, but there are vulnerabilities, as evidenced by the recent Air France accident. A more robust air data system for flight controls on aircraft is needed – particularly to measure airspeed in icing and severe weather conditions. This proposed sensor also measures air hazards which impacts the safety of air traffic and smoothness of ride; decreases fuel consumption and incidence of encounters with turbulent events on aircraft. The Phase I effort entails the system requirements determination, determination of optimal dual-use sensor, prototype design, range and accuracy expectations for each of the lidar modes, and preliminary design of the Phase II prototype. This technology is a TRL 2 with the intent of reaching TRL 3 by the end of this program. Phase II consists of a sensor demonstration in a representative flight environment (TRL 5).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Airspace transformation to NextGen may be significantly safer by providing additional information for kinetic air hazard detection. NASA has pioneered many innovations and improvements for wind hazard detection, warning and forecasting. This innovation enables this airspace transformation by providing wind hazard measurement and resulting real-time information for air traffic operations. This innovation will not only increase in-safety flight, but also may impact the volume of traffic able to traverse the continent due to the provision of resultant weather warnings. Also, safety of the air traffic system will be improved with the provision of a dually redundant air data system on commercial aircraft. NASA has shown the utility of lidar wind and air data measurements over the years, however, the systems have been quite cumbersome. Ophir solves this challenge by providing a redundant air data system and dual-use, kinetic air hazard monitoring system in a small size, weight and power consumption package, as well as at a low cost.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The commercial markets have been reticent to adopt an optical air data sensor due the size, weight and power consumption factors, as well as, the single function nature of the sensor. But, the ability to condense the sensor and the offer multimode operation enables the market acceptance and ultimate sensor commercialization. The markets addressed by this multifunction sensor development are the unmanned and manned military and commercial aircraft markets. The proposed innovation may also be used in the regional jet market for new aircraft flight testing and calibration. The commercial aircraft markets include the scheduled air carrier operations and the business jet market, as well as the airport safety market.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12