NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 A1.01-8718
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aviation External Hazard Sensor Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low-Cost Lidar for Wake-Vortex and Other Hazard Detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Q-Peak, Inc.
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730 - 2307
(781) 275-9535

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John H Flint
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730 - 2307
(781) 275-9535 Extension :604

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA has been tasked with supporting the development of key technologies to facilitate the evolution of the National Airspace System to NextGen, the Next Generation Air Transportation System. One of these key technologies is the detection of in-flight hazards, such as wake vortices generated by other aircraft, wind-shear, clear-air turbulence (CAT), and volcanic ash. All of these hazards can be detected by a laser radar (lidar) located on the aircraft, but such a system needs to be light, small, and inexpensive, and also needs to be sufficiently rugged that it will continue functioning with minimal maintenance. This mandates that the lidar be simple because such systems 1)cost less because they have fewer components and are easier to assemble and align 2)are more rugged and reliable because they have fewer components that can individually fail and 3)are less susceptible to environmental factors such as vibration, temperature variations, and pressure changes. We propose to develop an intrinsically simple, innovative, low-cost coherent lidar that would be suitable for deployment in large numbers on commercial airliners. The Phase I effort will also include a modeling task to explore how a single lidar could be used to detect all of the hazards listed above. We will evaluate potential modifications in light of our desire to keep the system as simple as possible. We will also compare the benefits of using a coherent lidar to detect volcanic ash, in contrast to a more conventional incoherent system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications relating to flight safety include detecting wake vortices, clear-air turbulence, wind-shear, and volcanic ash from aircraft. Other aircraft-based applications include optical air data systems (OADS) and use of a Doppler lidar to measure the wind-speed above and below the current flight path to allow flight optimization for fuel efficiency.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications include coupling with differential absorption lidar (DIAL) to measure pollution fluxes instead of simply concentrations, wind mapping for potential wind-energy sites and active control of wind turbines.

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)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Transport/Traffic Control

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43