NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S1.02-8008
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Microwave Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Antenna System and Digital Acquisition System for Enabling Ice Sheet 3D Tomography

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Free Space Research
9881 Kline Street
Westminster, CO 80021 - 4280
(303) 596-5294

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Timothy Rink
9881 Kline Street
Westminster, CO 80021 - 4280
(303) 596-5294

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The concept of using SAR data to form 3D tomographic images has been developed over the last decade, but the enabling technology has been slow to progress. Current 3D tomographic data gathering techniques require multiple flight passes to gather data at different phase centers. The two technology advancements proposed enabling improvements in the collection of SAR data for ice-sounding and subsurface exploration are compact, multi-band HF/VHF antennas and multi-channel data acquisition systems. Multi-band antennas enable a single antenna to be used over both spectrums most often used for subsurface exploration; their compact design facilitates the placement of multiple antennas on a single platform to enable data collection at multiple phase centers. This advancement is complemented by the development of a multi-channel data acquisition system, which enables the simultaneous collection of data at multiple phase centers. Collecting data simultaneously at multiple phase centers improves data collection by reducing instabilities in measurement locations produced by varying flight paths. Additionally, cost of collection is reduced due the minimization of flight time needed to collect data. Phase I will include the development, fabrication and testing of the antenna system (TRL3 – TRL6), while forming a concept design for the multi-channel acquisition system (TRL1 – TRL2).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Multiple NASA programs will be able to utilize one or all of the 3D tomography technologies developed under this program including work related to MARSIS (or follow-on programs), the SCLP snow radar and the ice sheet depth sounder. A follow-on program to the MARSIS mission could employ at least two antennas, with a multi-channel radar system facilitating the gathering data for 3D tomography in a reduced number of passes at VHF. Due to the large wavelengths, multi-pass data collection is likely required in the HF spectrum. Two programs identified in the decadal survey which could benefit from advances made in this program are the ice sheet depth sounder and the SCLP snow radar. The snow radar could employ the multi-channel acquisition system to apply tomographic techniques to snow accumulation rates, while the ice sheet depth sounder could use both the antenna and multi-channel receiver for similar purposes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Beyond application for NASA missions, other commercialization opportunities come from federal and municipal sources. Spectrums in the HF and VHF are commonly used for foliage penetration and the detection of hidden targets underground. Federal customers could clearly benefit from the greater application of 3D tomography at these frequency ranges to add another dimension of resolution to their future surveillance platforms. Municipal organizations may also utilize 3D tomography for the better detection of soil moisture, as well as improvements in estimating snow cover in mountainous areas. There are many other applications in the areas of academia and industry which could benefit from 3D tomographic imagery. Some of those include climate research, structure integrity evaluation, subsurface object location for utilities and geophysical feature locating.

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.)
3D Imaging
Analytical Methods
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Sensor Nodes & Webs (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12