NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 A1.01-8267
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aviation External Hazard Sensor Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of a High Energy Amplifier for an Airborne Coherent Wind Turbulence Lidar Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
815 Beauprez Avenue
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 3419
(303) 913-1772

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steven R Vetorino
107 Sioux Drive
Berthoud, CO 80513 - 1363
(970) 635-3145

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Russell E Sibell
815 Beauprez Avenue
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 3419
(303) 913-1772

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Aviation External Hazard Sensor Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The capacity of coherent LIDAR systems to produce a continuous, real-time, 3D scan of wind velocities via detection of backscatter of atmospheric aerosols in clear-air conditions gives this technology a clear advantage over other atmospheric monitoring technologies. LIDAR has proven its value in a number of applications, including the detection of clear-air turbulence, wind shear, and aircraft wake vortices.
Of particular interest under this NASA sub-topic is the development of an airborne Lidar system capable of detecting and measuring aircraft wake vortices and turbulence out ahead of the aircraft in order to improve aviation safety. To perform this task well a Lidar must have certain characteristics and be paired with a highly optimized wake and turbulence processing algorithm. The key development area for detection of turbulence at cruising altitude is Lidar transmit energy and pulsewidth. High energy output on the order of 1.0 mJ for low flying manned or unmanned aircraft (10,000 ft) and 10 mJ for commercial aircraft (30,000 ft) is required. Aerosol density decreases rapidly as a function of altitude and the backscatter coefficient at 30,000 ft is only 4x10-10 as opposed to 2x10-7 at sea-level. Furthermore, commercial airliner crews will need at least 30 seconds reaction time after turbulence is detected in order to take action, requiring the Lidar system to see 6.67 km ahead (assuming an average flight speed of 500 mph).
Other key requirements of an airborne Lidar system involve the size and power consumption of the system. The limited space and available electrical power on an aircraft necessitate that a Lidar system be compact and efficient. In addition, the system must be able to be integrated onto the aircraft without inhibiting other flight systems.
SIBELLOPTICS proposes a Phase 1 SBIR to develop and test an Er-doped polarization maintaining (PM), large mode area (LMA) fiber amplifier to boost transmitted Lidar power to greater than 1 mJ per pulse.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The major incentives for the detection, tracking, and measurement of turbulence and wake vortices are twofold: safety and efficiency. Turbulence has been shown to be the cause of at least 51 aviation accidents over the last 20 years. In the wake vortex and turbulence sensing mode Windimager will operate at a high PRF (as high as 20 kHz) and transmit a narrow pulse in order to sample the region with high transverse spatial resolution. The localized scan and high PRF will allow Windimager to measure a tighter array of radial wind velocities. In this mode Windimager will be able to detect turbulence out in front of the aircraft with enough range and spatial resolution to give warning to the crew.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Windimager has been designed to be an extraordinarily flexible, general purpose, wind measurement platform with applications in a number of different industries, including:
1. Aviation.
2. Wind Energy
Wind energy generation is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and LIDAR technology is gaining a great deal of momentum in this market segment. Windimager can perform both wind assessment and power operations improvement, replacing multiple LIDARS or anemometer towers.
3. Yachting
Maritime markets potentially include ocean-going vessels as well as subscription wind data and weather sales to harbors and ports. There are four opportunities to address in this market: (1) the owners of luxury yachts, (2) the yacht manufacturers, (3) the yacht charter operators and (4) the harbor market where ships of all types operate.
4. Meteorology
Environmental scientists have successfully used Lidar systems to accurately track the direction and dispersion of factory atmospheric emissions and volcanic ash, as well conduct studies of the formation of typhoons.
5. Homeland Security
With its ability to monitor aerosol movements over large areas Windimager is an ideal platform to track the dispersion of atmospheric contaminants.
6. Firefighting
Successful suppression of any large scale fire depends on an understanding of environmental factors which effect fire behavior. Wind speed and direction are among the most important environmental influences.

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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21