NASA SBIR 2020-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary


PROPOSAL NUMBER:
 20-1- S1.01-4962
SUBTOPIC TITLE:
 Lidar Remote Sensing Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:
 Flash LIDAR Spatial Resolution and Range Improvements for EDL Applications
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Scientific Concepts, LLC
135 East Ortega Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 966-3331

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
William Johnson
E-mail:
lgonzalez@asc3d.com
Address:
135 East Ortega Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101 - 1674
Phone:
(805) 966-3331

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
Bradley Short
E-mail:
bshort@asc3d.com
Address:
135 East Ortega Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101 - 1674
Phone:
(805) 966-3331
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 3
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Several up-coming NASA lunar and planetary exploration missions are planning to use state-of-the-art 3D Hazard Detection (HD) and 3D Hazard Relative Navigation techniques to significantly reduce the risks associated with Entry, Decent, and Landing (EDL) operations. 3D Imaging / ranging sensors with improved range, wide-field-of view (WFOV), and instantaneous field-of-view (IFOV) are highly desired to enable the landers to access difficult to reach, science rich landing zones.  Global Shutter Flash (GSF) LIDAR has emerged as one of the 3D EDL relative navigation sensors of choice due to its superior real time 3D mapping capabilities. Recent GSF-LIDAR improvements have focused on WFOV and IFOV performance using smaller pixels and larger focal plane array formats. However, smaller pixels degrade LIDAR range performance. Increasing range performance using higher energy lasers is problematic due to the severe size, weight, and power penalties. These SWAP penalties can be avoided by improving the LIDAR detector photo-electrical gain. Range performance is proportional to the square-root of detector photo-optical gain. Existing GSF-LIDARs use InGaAs APD technology. The effective photo-optical gain is the product of the intrinsic quantum efficiency. Typical linear mode InGaAs APD gains range from 1 to 10.  Recent advancements in AlxIn1-x AsySb1-y indicate that linear mode photo-optical gains greater than 100 can be achieved with minimal noise degradation. Thus GSF-LIDAR imaging / ranging detectors with improved WFOV, IFOV, and range 1.7X range performance with no additional laser energy requirement. ASC is proposing to develop an AlxIn1-x AsySb1-y detector design optimized for 1064nm operation. In addition, ASC is planning to perform performance measurements on existing AlxIn1-x AsySb1-y 100um single element APDs. Using this information, the focus of the Phase II program is fabricate and evaluate the ranging /imaging 32x32 element GSF-LIDAR focal plane test chip.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
  1. New Frontiers / Dragonfly: Planetary explorer mission to the Saturn moon Titan. GSF-LIDAR is a candidate imaging / ranging relative navigation sensor for the roto-craft lander.
  2. Artemis: Candidate relative navigation sensor for the Manned Lunar Lander
  3. Commercial Lunar Payload Services: Candidate relative navigation sensor for various unmanned lunar landers.
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
  1. Commercial Space:  Relative navigation sensor for various space cargo and lunar lander.
  2. Military Space: Space domain awareness: Long range 3D object detection and tracking sensor.
  3. Military: Long range 3D target detection and tracking sensor for drones.
Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/29/2020 21:08:52