Omnidirectional Proximity Sensor
ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force"s need for an All-Sky Electro-Optical Proximity Sensor for Space Situational Awareness (SSA), Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Omnidirectional Proximity Sensor (OPS). This proposed device is based on a new design that uses in-house developed mature and COTS components. The innovative imaging system design, which is based on fiber optic and MEMS technologies and on novel use of fiber optic components, will enable the OPS to use a single-component objective, collect light within the fiber acceptance angle only, and block imaged sunlight completely. As a result, this device offers 4 pi steradian field of view (FOV), significant SWAP reduction, significant reduction of detected stray light, and detector protection from damage by direct sunlight, all of which directly address Air Force requirements for sensors for resident space object (RSO) detection. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of a single-pixel OPS prototype by demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach to eliminate the effects of sunlight. In Phase II, POC plans to develop a prototype to show that the OPS is an all-sky electro-optical sensor for SSA that is capable of proximity detection in all solar lighting conditions. BENEFIT: Military applications of the OPS design will include various target identification and SSA systems. POC"s OPS can be implemented in a range of existing and future Air Force spacecraft for RSO detection. The POC design substantially minimizes sensor vulnerability to sunlight by reducing the amount of indirect sunlight, and protects the detector from damage by instantly blocking sensitive areas from direct sunlight. The major commercial markets for OPS technology include: remote sensing (e.g., crop evaluation), sensing of civil system satellites, border patrol, security, surveillance, process control in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and product inspection.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Chief Financial Officer
Physical Optics Corporation
Photonic Systems Division 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100 Torrance, CA -
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