NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 13.08-1722

PROJECT TITLE : COMPUTER HARDWARE FOR FAST STRAY LIGHT ANALYSIS

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Computer software to model and predict stray radiation is critical to the design of high performance optical telescopes and instrument systems. To support future advances in stray radiation performance, RayTech Systems proposes to develop an innovative computer hardware "engine" that will speed up ray tracing computations and enable a significant increase in the number of stray radiation analyses and the level of detail possible. In Phase I, the main objectives will be to verify the numerical accuracy of the proposed ray tracing engine and estimate the speed that can be realized in first generation hardware. These objectives will be accomplished by developing a breadboard on a reconfigurable computing platform and running test cases that are based on optical systems being developed by NASA. The anticipated results are that the hardware engine can achieve a throughput of several hundred thousand rays per second, which is more than 100 times faster than present software systems. As a result, computations that now take 10-20 hours can be reduced to minutes. This new capability will benefit various NASA missions by facilitating the development of more sensitive and accurate instruments and sensors as a result of more complete and detailed stray radiation analysis.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The hardware engine has commercial potential as a speed-enhancing option to stray radiation software products such as CADRAY sold by Lambda Research Corporation. It can also be used to speed up opto-mechanical design software sold by companies such as Breault Research and Optical Research Associates. The hardware engine also has very large market potential in non-optics applications such as 3-D image rendering for presentation graphics and digital animation.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
John Tourtellott
RayTech Systems
968 Albany-Shaker Road
Latham, NY 12110
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
RayTech Systems
968 Albany-Shaker Road
Latham, NY 12110