Enhanced Lucky Imaging for Space Situational Awareness
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
To address the need of the Air Force in terrestrial based optical imaging for space situational awareness (SSA) with high-resolution imagery, Applied Science Innovations, Inc. (ASI) proposes development of the Coded-Aperture Lucky Imaging for Space Situational Awareness (CALISSA) – a novel, computational coherent-imaging technique capable of high-resolution and high performance imaging without increasing optical telescope size. Adaptive optics techniques have been the primary method for compensating for the degradation of imagery by atmospheric turbulence. A new technique, “lucky imaging” was enabled by developments in low light level charge coupled devices with very low noise. Both adaptive optics and lucky imaging rely on a star of known quality in the field of view. High-resolution imaging in SSA requires an alternative to fixed reference stars. The proposed patent-pending CALISSA addresses the needs of SSA imaging with a novel coded-aperture optical system with extremely high resolution and dramatically reduced effect of atmospheric turbulence, with low-cost, lightweight optics. Phase I will establish feasibility of the CALISSA concept. In Phase II, a functional pre-production CALISSA prototype will be developed and delivered to the Air Force for evaluation and use. In Phase III, the CALISSA design will be further developed to Technology Readiness Level 9 and commercialized as a ground-based imager for SSA. BENEFIT: The benefits of the proposed CALISSA include extremely high, nearly diffraction-limited resolution, virtually eliminated atmospheric effects; high frame rates, and extremely broad spectral coverage. Commercial applications of CALISSA are in high-resolution terrestrial imaging of distant objects, improved satellite and aerial reconnaissance, security, surveillance, free-space optical communications, space-based remote sensing, weather sensing, and high-altitude aerial photography.
Small Business Information at Submission:
APPLIED SCIENCE INNOVATIONS, INC.
185 Jordan Road Troy, NY 12180
Number of Employees: