USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Rotorcraft Airspeed Measurement System

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
1845 West 205th Street Torrance, CA 90501-1510
View profile »
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Rotorcraft Airspeed Measurement System
Agency: DOD
Contract: N68335-11-C-0137
Award Amount: $373,393.00


To address the Navy"s need, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) has developed a new Rotorcraft Airspeed Measurement (RAM) system. This RAM system is based on self-mixing interference in a semiconductor laser diode. During Phase I, POC proved feasibility of the RAM system with a new velocity sensor system design, performance analysis, and assembly and testing of a RAM prototype that demonstrated wind speed measurements at a POC laboratory. This prototype has proven that RAM can measure wind speeds with greater than 2% accuracy and with a signal-to-noise ratio better than 10. The theoretical estimates have shown the optical Doppler signal is amplified by the cavity gain medium, enabling a much higher (~10^3) signal-to-noise ratio than traditional laser-based systems. Simulations for determining the optimal emitter size showed that an emitter radius larger than 2.5 cm is sufficient to achieve carrier-to-noise ratio of nearly 1000 at 15 m from the laser using 1550 nm laser wavelength. In Phase II, POC will develop a RAM prototype using a 1-W laser, enabling RAM to concurrently measure multidirectional low airspeed of rotorcraft. The resulting RAM will be ready for mass production and rapid transitioning to the Navy for deployment during AMCM missions.

Principal Investigator:

Sivanesan Ponniah
Group Leader
(310) 320-3088

Business Contact:

Gordon Drew
Chief Financial Officer
(310) 320-3088
Small Business Information at Submission:

Physical Optics Corporation
Photonic Systems Division 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100 Torrance, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 330118051
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No