Technical Abstract: (Limit 2,000 characters) No proprietary info
RC Integrated Systems LLC (RISL), with support from Lockheed Martin Space (LMS) and in collaboration with TechOpp Consulting Inc., proposes to advance the development of a novel Miniature Optical Proximity Sensor (MOPS), capable of providing sub-mm range resolution for the measurement of an arbitrary target ranging from contact to over 20cm. This new sensor will achieve over 1 kHz frequency response, consume less than 55mW power, weigh about 7.1 grams, and cost less than 100 dollars. The MOPS addresses NASA’s need for a low mass low power proximity sensor which can be mounted at the end of a robotic arm. The MOPS sensor is based on unique laser interferometry. The outcome of the Phase I program was the successful feasibility demonstration of the MOPS technology through extensive design, modeling, prototype development, and laboratory testing and demonstration. A Technology Readiness Level (TRL-) 4 prototype was tested in a laboratory environment to achieve better than sub-mm range resolution with a target over 20 cm simulating satellite surface conditions. At the end of Phase II, RISL will perform a TRL-6 prototype demonstration of the MOPS technology at RISL or a NASA facility, and will deliver to NASA 10 fully operational MOPS prototypes.
The proposed sensor directly addresses the major NASA requirements of a low mass low power proximity sensor for a robotic arm to enhance satellite servicing. MOPS will provide a lightweight sensor measuring the distance from the end of the robotic arm to the adjacent free flying satellite which would reduce the risk of a collision or missed capture. It could be applicable to the Restore-L mission as well as other potential servicing missions, platform demonstrations, or smallsats. It could also be applicable to refueling at Artemis.
MOPS can be mounted on any robotic arms for industrial applications such as welding, material handling, thermal spraying, and painting and drilling. Military applications of the MOPS sensor will include proximity fuzes for a wide range of munitions platforms. It can also be applied to traffic safety (collision avoidance), and residential and industrial facility security.