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Automated Nap-of-the-Earth Data Collection Radar

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1995 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Technology Service Corporation
962 Wayne Avenue Suite 800 Silver Spring, MD 20910-4453
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1995
Title: Automated Nap-of-the-Earth Data Collection Radar
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $600,000.00


Nap-of-the-Earth (NOE) flight in a conventional helicopter is extremely taxing for two pilots under visual flight rules (VFR) conditions. There is a desire to develop an all-weather Automated NOE (ANOE) system that will allow a single pilot to safely fly a helicopter at altitudes near 50 feet. Recent work by NASA/ARC has indicated that ranging to the ground and potential hazards using passive camera sensors can significantly improve ANOE performance. These sensors indicate that an effective all-weather, day/night, ANOE system can be developed by augmenting passive sensors, INS/GPS and hazard data with an active radar system. At present, the data base required to specify such a sensor system does not exist. This proposal is to define a low cost, data collection radar to derive the necessary data base. During Phase II the radar would be developed and tested. This radar will collect data not only for the ANOE mission but will also collect data to determine its utility as a situational awareness sensor during approach, landing and taxiing. In addition, the radar will collect preliminary data to help define a machine vision system for landing in very low visibility. The critical issues are height measurement accuracy and hazard detection, e.g., towers and wires. We will use our experience in developing unique algorithms for obtaining very precise height accuracy. We will use elevation and azimuth monopulse diversity to detect and measure hazardous obstacles.

Principal Investigator:

John Kirk

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Technology Service Corp.
2950 31st Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No