NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S1.03-9822
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Passive Microwave Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Microwave Photonic Imaging Radiometer

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Phase Sensitive Innovations Inc.
51 E Main St Ste 201
Newark, DE 19711 - 4676
(302) 456-9003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Thomas Dillon
51 East Main Street
Newark, DE 19711 - 4676
(302) 456-9003

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mrs. Renee Willis-Williams
51 E Main St Ste 201
Newark, DE 19711 - 4676
(302) 456-9003

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Technologies for Passive Microwave Remote Sensing is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Passive Microwave Remote Sensing is currently utilized by NASA, NOAA, and USGIS to conduct Earth Science missions, including weather forecasting, early warning systems, and climate studies. Due to budgetary constraints and lack of reliable access to medium-lift vehicles, the current trend in the space industry is towards smaller, cheaper, and more frequent missions. Nano-satellites, such as CubeSats, are gaining in popularity due to their low cost and ease of deployment. These miniaturized platforms impose severe constraints on the size, weight, and power (SWaP) of the payload. However, relatively large apertures are required to achieve desired spatial resolution. In this NASA SBIR effort, Phase Sensitive Innovations (PSI) will dramatically reduce the SWaP of our microwave photonic imaging radiometer technology, thus making it amenable to deployment on spaceborne platforms. Our innovative approach employs distributed aperture imaging (DAI) with optical upconversion of the incoming microwave radiation and subsequent coherent optical reconstruction of the microwave scene. The sensor features a flexible, two-dimensional form factor that allows the antenna array to be stowed for launch and deployed once in orbit using space inflatables, which enables a large RF aperture to be realized on a small platform. Besides easing implementation on small satellites, PSI?s imaging radiometer provides capabilities beyond those currently available on conventional microwave sensors, most notably the ability to generate real-time, two-dimensional radiometric imagery with no mechanical scanning. The end result of our effort will not only greatly reduce the SWaP of our instrument commensurate with deployment on emerging platforms, but also reduce the cost and complexity while increasing reliability and performance. These improvements in turn will open up new market segments for the technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The distributed aperture array technology utilized in PSI?s microwave imaging radiometer can be leveraged in a number of applications of interest to NASA. Besides passive sensing of microwave radiation from earth and other celestial bodies for weather related data, active operation is a straightforward extension for radar applications where range data is useful. High gain beam forming is readily achieved by the phased array, which is advantageous for communications and telemetry applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The applications for PSI?s microwave and millimeter wave imaging technology and its capabilities are numerous and could have an appreciable impact in many commercial and military areas. Millimeter wave radiation is attenuated millions of times less in clouds, fog, smoke, snow, and sandstorms than visual or IR radiation, which enables millimeter wavelength imaging systems to ?see-through? obscurants in day or night conditions. A partial list of applications includes:
1. Marine navigation in dense fog and inversion layers with passive imaging systems
2. Navigational aids for landing aircraft in adverse weather, operating emergency response vehicles in poor weather or smoke, piloting ships in poor-visibility conditions, and monitoring highways for traffic safety
3. Military surveillance and target acquisition in inclement weather with potential use on unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs)
4. Enhanced visualization in smoke and fog, providing superior performance over infrared systems for locating victims and navigating within a fire zone
5. Non-intrusive portal security whose use would proliferate in airports, embassies, government and landmark buildings, schools, sports arenas, etc.
6. Scanners at the more than 300 ports of entry into the U.S. to look simultaneously for weapons and contraband without the need for multiple sensors
7. Stand-off frisking, providing police and security guards with the ability to detect concealed objects without the need for physical search

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.)
Interferometric (see also Analysis)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59