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Miniature Laser Designator for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
NAVY 10-017
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
SA Photonics
130A Knowles Dr. Los Gatos, CA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Miniature Laser Designator for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N68936-10-C-0073
Award Amount: $79,993.00


SA Photonics is pleased to propose the development plan for our FALCON Miniature Laser Designator (MLD) for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Laser designators have been successfully fielded on large UAVs such as Global Hawk and Predator, but the large size, weight, and power of these designators far exceeds the payload capacity of small UAVs such as the ScanEagle. SA Photonics has addressed these size, weight, and power issues by integrating novel SA Photonics devices and technologies with small, power-efficient components to yield the FALCON MLD system applicable to small UAVs. The FALCON MLD will use a compact, highly efficient solid state laser for the small-UAV application. The FALCON MLD's inertially stabilized beam steering mechanism can paint targets in a hemispherical coverage range to minimize restrictions on UAV orientation and motion. A high-sensitivity day/night image sensor provides video for remote target selection and on-board target tracking. Target tracking and laser-camera alignment are actively controlled using on-board sensing and control, which minimizes operator effort and maximizes the designator's accuracy. The proposed MLD incorporates our fiber-optic gyro (FOG) technology and expertise with high-power lasers, low-light cameras, and high-performance control systems to provide the military cutting-edge capabilities for laser designation from small UAVs.

Principal Investigator:

James Coward

Business Contact:

Andrea Singewald
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

SA Photonics
650 5th Street Suite 505 San Francisco, CA 94107

EIN/Tax ID: 611427995
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No