NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S4.01-9312
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Proximity Operation Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Non-mechanical High-resolution Low-SWaP Lidar

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc.
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steve Serati
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Mark Tanner
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 2

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Proximity Operation Technology 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)
This Phase I effort will be a proof-of-concept demonstration of a non-mechanical (no moving parts) 3D lidar system that provides in real time high-resolution terrain point cloud information. The objective is to build a compact sensor that meets the low size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements of small autonomous space vehicles, robots and rovers being developed for future NASA planetary and asteroid/comet exploration. The lidar sensor will provide a variable angular resolution of 0.04 degrees by 0.04 degrees to 0.005 degrees by 0.005 degrees with <10cm range precision over an 80 degrees by 80 degrees field of regard and 200 meter range in bright sun light. This will be accomplished using a unique electro-optic scanner that provides the largest angle-aperture product of any commercially-available non-mechanical scanning technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed low-SWaP lidar will have application in many NASA missions needing real-time 3D information such as fixing and refueling space craft, close approaches to asteroids, autonomous vision-based guidance and control for robotic systems and terrain mapping and hazard avoidance for autonomous land, air and sea vehicles.
The technology developed in this project, especially the versatile non-mechanical beam scanning system in Phase I, can be also tailored for a number of other NASA sensor platforms such as coherent Doppler lidar for 3D wind sensing or differential absorption lidar (DIAL) for trace gas detection. Also, a reliable, low-SWaP gimbal replacement would also be useful for several other space-borne applications including active remote sensing using laser-based sensors, satellite-to-satellite communication, and position tracking within a cluster of nano-satellites, to name a few.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed non-mechanical beam steering technology married with lidar sensors have numerous commercial applications. The platform can provide a low-SWaP package for hazard/collision avoidance for autonomous automobiles and unmanned vehicles, which is currently a very hot area of interest in the commercial sector. Other potential large markets are 3D imaging for autonomous robotics, noncontact structure analysis, topographical mapping and gesture recognition for augmented reality systems.

Additionally, the non-mechanical scanner technology is well suited to deployment on wind farms for guiding and controlling power-generating wind turbines. The sensor is particularly well suited for this application because the low-SWaP package is ideal for mounting directly to a turbine or even packaging in an ocean-going buoy for sea-based wind farms. Such a buoy network would also have weather warning and prediction applications. Within the Department of Defense, this technology is being developed for applications such as munitions seeker tracking, passive imaging, and conventional hard-target lidar. Also, there is interest from automotive manufacturers who wish to use the technology for non-mechanical headlight steering.

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.)
3D Imaging
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59