Electronic Bumper for Rotorcraft Brownout Approach and Landing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-08-M-1384
Agency Tracking Number: F081-074-0620
Amount: $99,956.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF081-074
Solicitation Number: 2008.1
Small Business Information
10070 Barnes Canyon Road, San Diego, CA, 92121
DUNS: 107928806
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Techau
 Vice President/Program Manager
 (703) 269-3613
Business Contact
 Nicole Sanese
Title: Sr. Contract Administrator
Phone: (858) 373-2711
Email: nsanese@islinc.com
Research Institution
In a number of arid regions of the world, recirculation of dust by the rotorwash of helicopters results in the loss of visual cues during helicopter approach and landing. This condition is typically referred to as brownout. This is a serious problem for all services and leads to numerous aircraft and personnel losses in Afghanistan and Iraq. The effectiveness of the conventional approach of using spotters positioned in aircraft doorways to call out and maintain clearance from obstacles has obvious limitations, especially in the most degraded visual environments. An “Electronic Bumper” system would detect and track major obstacles including other aircraft in flight during brownout and virtually all low/no visibility approach and landing. An active RF system is preferred, one operating at high-enough frequency and bandwidth to provide the needed system resolution. SNC’s electronically reconfigurable aperture (ERA) technology is ideally suited to this task. ERA is a patented electronically steerable array technology that has been demonstrated at across the range of frequencies of interest. This proposal describes a Multiple Scanning Array Radar (MSAR) that will achieve the required functionality. The hardware and processing architecture is described, along with the approach to demonstrating that the system will meet all requirements.

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

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