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Aero-optics Kit for Wind Tunnel Testing and Hypersonic Flight Evaluation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0860-22-C-7140
Agency Tracking Number: B2S-0047
Amount: $1,492,924.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA19-010
Solicitation Number: 19.2
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-08-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-08-25
Small Business Information
200 Westside Square Suite 320
Huntsville, AL 35801-4875
United States
DUNS: 129074840
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 john harchanko
 (256) 562-0087
Business Contact
 Greg Tucker
Phone: (256) 562-0087
Research Institution

To meet the challenge imposed on the seeker window by the hypersonic flight envelope, new materials and processes are being developed to impart the required mechanical and optical performance characteristics including, but not limited to, strength, fracture toughness, thermal shock resistance, optical transmission, scattering, shape uniformity, etc. These “new” materials can be opaque in the visible, yet still have a high transmission and low emissivity in the Mid-Wave InfraRed (MWIR). While these new materials may present some performance advantages over “traditional” materials (e.g., Sapphire, Spinel, Alon, etc.), they introduce a new problem; namely, metrology. Traditional materials offer the opportunity to utilize visible-wavelength metrology equipment and approaches to indirectly measure the MWIR performance by scaling the visible metrology results to the MWIR wavelength(s) of interest. This technique of utilizing visible wavelength metrology to indirectly measure MWIR performance is colloquially referred to as “wavelength scaling” and has been widely practiced by many, if not all, performers in the field of aero-optics. Wavelength scaling is especially useful for measuring the wavefront transmitted through the various flow layers associated with hypersonic flight. Polaris’ Aero-Optics Kit (AOK) provides an aero-optics measurement capability that can be common among Ground Test Facilities (GTFs), regardless of their physical layout. “AOK Module 4” for the new(er) materials and windows is currently under development. Module 4 will include a MWIR PSF camera and a IR WFS to accommodate materials that have desirable properties only in the IR spectrum. Once developed, this pathfinder capability will pave the way for the prime contractors to efficiently utilize the GTFs in a manner that reduces MDA’s acquisition risk. Approved for Public Release | 22-MDA-11339 (13 Dec 22)

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

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