NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 S5.02-8644
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Flash 3D Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing Sensor Hardening

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Scientific Concepts, Inc.
135 E. Ortega Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 - 1674
(805) 966-3331

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steven Silverman
135 E. Ortega Street
Santa Barbara , CA 93101 - 1674
(805) 966-3331

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Advanced Scientific Concepts Inc. (ASC) is a small business that has developed a number of 3D flash LADAR systems. Flash Ladar Video Cameras are 3D video cameras that return range and intensity information for each pixel in real time, and is functionally equivalent to 16000 range finders on one chip. Actual data collected, at the JPL mars yard, using ASC's compact Flash Ladar system demonstrated in a previous NASA phase I SBIR effort confirm that the ASC Flash LADAR Video Camera (FLVC) system can meet the requirements for Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL). The FLVC's small size, low power and very fast range data frame rate (30Hz) the sensor can be configured for a variety of EDL missions.
An existing Phase two effort is fabricating a compact FLVC for delivery to NASA for field testing, however the system is not hardened. The proposed Phase 2 effort will produce a space qualified sensor engine which can be integrated with the system being delivered to NASA. The sensor engine is the break-though enabling technology for the FLVC. The sensor engine will be fabricated, tested and used to upgrade the camera JPL. As a result of these improvements, the TRL level of this sensor will be at 6-7.
Flash Ladar is ideal for determining real-time spacecraft trajectory, speed and orientation to the planet surface, as well as evaluating potential hazards at the landing site is required for precision landing. Sloped ground, craters, rocks and surface composition are among the potential hazards. The "framing camera" nature, of Flash LADAR systems, makes them well suited as hazard avoidance sensors for EDL. Flash LADAR can provide a direct, real-time measurement of the altitude of the spacecraft during descent as well as surface relative velocity and orientation, while simultaneously mapping the topography of the terrain below to identify landing hazards and provide localization information.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This sensor will increase the success of NASA operations such as:
• Mars Landed Exploration
• Exploration of Moons (ALHAT, Jupiter Icy Moons)
• Asteroid and Comet Rendezvous and Sample Return
• ISS Rendezvous and Docking
• Space Situational Awareness
• Rock Abundance and Distribution Maps
• Topographical Mapping
• Rover Mobility and Navigation
NASA Langley Research Center has purchased two of ASC's existing FLVC systems for performing laboratory, field, and airborne test and evaluation of this technology for use on the ALHAT program. On system has been deployed for EDL helicopter experiments and has shown excellent results. ASC has developed unit cells that show 10x increase in detection threshold sensitivity (which implies 10X lower laser power requirements for a given return signal to noise ratio). NASA LaRC has offered to support ASC in defining requirements for advanced ROIC technology to increase device threshold sensitivity for a proposed Phase II effort. NASA LaRC's second camera is incorporating the automatic range calibration and higher sensitivity detector arrays that were investigated under the supporting SBIR. This system will be used for high altitude EDL testing for ALHAT.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ASC is pursuing many non-NASA applications.
Collision avoidance to save pedestrians and prevent vehicle damage, Helicopter landing in BrownOut conditions, Mid-Air Refueling, Surveillance, Terrain Mapping, Autonomous Navigation for UGVs, unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and UAV, Smart intersection, Ladar brakes, Robotics, Machine Vision, Hazard Material Detection and Handling, Underwater 3D Imaging, Sub Nanosecond Dynamic Imaging, 3D Sports Imaging and data transmission, consumer electronics.

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.

Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics

Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36