NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Atmospheric Maneuver and Precision Landing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Optical Landing Hazard Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Visidyne, Inc.
10 Corporate Pl South Bedford St
Burlington ,MA 01826 - 5168
(781) 273 - 2820

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christian   Trowbridge
10 Corporate Place, South Bedford Street
Burlington, MA  01826 -5168
(781) 273 - 2820

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Visidyne's Phase I effort has established through modeling and analysis that a unique concept for an active optical 3-D Imager (or Imaging LADAR) has high potential for successful application as a hazard avoidance sensor for use by NASA spacecraft during landing on planetary surfaces. The Landing Hazard Sensor promises to be highly cost-effective, utilizing efficient high-power laser diode technology and a gateable array of detectors to implement a sensor that provides range images to passive targets at relatively long range and over wide fields-of-regard. Further image processing determines terrain relief and gradients (identifying rocks and steep slopes) that may present impediments to landing. The spacecraft Guidance and Navigation Computer will guide the spacecraft to an obstacle free landing area by directing the engine thrust vector based upon Hazard Sensor data (as well as data from other sensors). During Phase II, a hardware and software prototype of the Landing Hazard Sensor will be designed, constructed and evaluated.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology addresses the requirements for a Landing Hazard Sensor applicable to NASA needs for planned lunar and Martian exploration missions. With basically no physical configuration changes, the LADAR sensor can serve as a Rendezvous/Docking system sensor, suitable for NASA earth orbital re-supply and repair missions and for planetary rendezvous and capture.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential commercial/industrial application areas include: face recognition for security screening; a tool for inspection of manufactured parts; an input to robotic manufacturing/ assembly/ repair; and an obstacle avoidance sensor for helicopters at low flight levels (primarily electrical wires which are difficult for pilots to detect visually).

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52