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Geolocation and Attitude Determination from Laser Communication Systems

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Air Force
Award ID:
82250
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
F071-276-1731
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Space Photonics, Inc.
700 Research Center Blvd. Fayetteville, AR -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Geolocation and Attitude Determination from Laser Communication Systems
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9453-07-M-0101
Award Amount: $99,939.00
 

Abstract:

To realize the benefits of formation flying multi-spacecraft clusters, four key elements must be present: 1. Broadband inter-spacecraft communications to enable the transport of high resolution sensor data. 2. Precision inter-spacecraft timing synchronization to enable precise multi-sensor sampling throughout the cluster. 3. Precision inter-spacecraft relative range to enable the determination of spacecraft and sensor spacing within the cluster. 4. Precision inter-spacecraft relative position and attitude determination to enable geolocation of cluster craft and sensor planes. An inter-spacecraft laser communications network is the only integrated subsystem that can provide all four of these key elements. The proposed SBIR Phase I effort will leverage several existing SPI programs to extend the resulting models, analyses, and designs beyond the normal scope of a Phase I effort, and--should a follow-on Phase II be awarded--produce fully-functional prototype hardware at a minimum cost. Space Photonics and its subcontractors will develop the analytical models, algorithms, calibration processes, and VHDL code for the inter-spacecraft ranging, timing synchronization and inter-spacecraft position and attitude determination; and will (sub-scale) demonstrate these functions in our gimbal-less, free space optical, lasercom testbed (LaserFirer testbed). However, the algorithms, calibration processes, and VHDL code developed for this SBIR Phase I program can be applied to any gimbaled or gimbal-less lasercom crosslink system. These functions can even be applied to RF crosslink systems (the RF implementation will suffer significant loss of inter-spacecraft position accuracy due to the larger RF beamwidths).

Principal Investigator:

Terry Tidwell
Sr. Research Specialist
4792518229
ttidwell@spacephotonics.com

Business Contact:

Chuck Chalfant
CEO
4795755316
cchalfant@spacephotonics.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

SPACE PHOTONICS, INC.
700 Research Center Blvd. Fayetteville, AR 72701

EIN/Tax ID: 710817649
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No