NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 A3.02-8812
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Next Generation Air Transportation - Airportal
PROPOSAL TITLE: An Optical Wake Vortex Detection System for Super-Density Airport Operation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Optical Scientific, Inc.
2 Metropolitan Court, Suite 6
Gaithersburg, MD 20878 - 4003
(301) 963-3630

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ting-i Wang
2 Metropolitan Ct, Suite 6
Gaithersburg, MD 20878 - 4008
(301) 963-3630

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Feasibility study including analysis and experiment performed in Phase I indicated that several singled-ended optical scintillometer and retro-reflector pairs installed on towers or poles are able to develop a vertical profile of near ground atmospheric turbulence and wind measurements in airport environment. In Phase II, OSI proposes to design, fabricate and test a prototype optical vertical profile system for atmospheric turbulence and crosswind measurements to provide critical atmospheric parameters for wake vortex decaying forecasting modeling. Several scintillometers will be built with the goal to demonstrate their ability to meet performance, size, weight, and packaging requirements for airport operations. An analytical and field test program will be conducted for further performance improvement of a vertical profile vortex detection system using optical scintillometers to measure near ground level crosswind, turbulence, and wake vortex on an airfield. The results of near ground vortex measurements plus the ground vortex measurements by double-ended optical scintillometers will provide the necessary assessment to design a crosswind, turbulence, and vortex detection system as a decision support tool for NASA's Airspace Systems (AS) Program to improve airport capacity and safety.

The vortex detection system could also measure downdraft on the runway. The instrument will provide real-time continuous measurements of convergence and divergence along the runway. Vertical winds, and hence the downdraft, can be derived from the measured divergence. The proposed vortex detection system will also be able to provide critical large area wind information. By incorporating this valuable information into the low-level wind shear modeling, it will greatly enhance the performance of the present airport low-level wind shear systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA Airspace Systems (AS) Program has identified that advanced technologies to detect and avoid wake vortex hazards is critical for performing safe, closely spaced and converging approaches at closer distances than are currently allowed. One of the primary interests is Wake Vortex Hazard Solutions that include wake avoidance procedures for airports with closely spaced runways; characterization of wake vortex and atmospheric hazards to flight; and wake vortex alleviation/mitigation technologies.

The proposed wake vortex detection system by several optical scintillometers will provide critical real-time vortex information that will increase throughput of an airport runway complex and achieve the highest possible efficiencies in the use of airportal resources. The detection of vortex will entail reduced aircraft wake vortex separation standards for super-density operations. The proposed effort will lead to the development of wake vortex detection system that provides critical information relevant to NASA's NGATS-Airportal effort.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The FAA may require the vortex detection system successfully developed in this SBIR to be incorporated in the NGATS. The vortex detection and avoidance system will improve airport throughput and efficiency. More tests may be required and system may further improved in Phase 3 with FAA that will lead the system to TRL level 9 -the Actual system (flight) proven through successful mission operations.

A TRL-9 system certainly has many market opportunities in domestic and international airports. To further expose OSI's products, OSI may team up with a large airport equipments vendor, such as the one with Airport Surface Traffic Configuration Management System. The team-up will lead to the large scale deployment of wake vortex detection systems at airports around the globe.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety

Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36