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Microwave Photonic Imaging Radiometer

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX17CG60P
Agency Tracking Number: 174178
Amount: $124,723.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-06-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-12-08
Small Business Information
51 E Main St Ste 201
Newark, DE 19711-4676
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Dillon
 Principal Investigator
 (302) 456-9003
Business Contact
 Renee Willis-Williams
Title: Business Official
Phone: (302) 456-9003
Research Institution

Passive Microwave Remote Sensing is currently utilized by NASA, NOAA, and USGIS to conduct Earth Science missions, including weather forecasting, early warning systems, and climate studies. Due to budgetary constraints and lack of reliable access to medium-lift vehicles, the current trend in the space industry is towards smaller, cheaper, and more frequent missions. Nano-satellites, such as CubeSats, are gaining in popularity due to their low cost and ease of deployment. These miniaturized platforms impose severe constraints on the size, weight, and power (SWaP) of the payload. However, relatively large apertures are required to achieve desired spatial resolution. In this NASA SBIR effort, Phase Sensitive Innovations (PSI) will dramatically reduce the SWaP of our microwave photonic imaging radiometer technology, thus making it amenable to deployment on spaceborne platforms. Our innovative approach employs distributed aperture imaging (DAI) with optical upconversion of the incoming microwave radiation and subsequent coherent optical reconstruction of the microwave scene. The sensor features a flexible, two-dimensional form factor that allows the antenna array to be stowed for launch and deployed once in orbit using space inflatables, which enables a large RF aperture to be realized on a small platform. Besides easing implementation on small satellites, PSI?s imaging radiometer provides capabilities beyond those currently available on conventional microwave sensors, most notably the ability to generate real-time, two-dimensional radiometric imagery with no mechanical scanning. The end result of our effort will not only greatly reduce the SWaP of our instrument commensurate with deployment on emerging platforms, but also reduce the cost and complexity while increasing reliability and performance. These improvements in turn will open up new market segments for the technology.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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