Low Cost, Radiation Hardened, Noise Resistant Inertial Measurement Unit

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-07-M-0100
Agency Tracking Number: B063-046-0881
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solitcitation Year: 2006
Solitcitation Topic Code: MDA06-046
Solitcitation Number: 2006.3
Small Business Information
SPACE PHOTONICS, INC.
700 Research Center Blvd., Fayetteville, AR, 72701
Duns: 044870363
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Terry Tidwell
 Sr. Research Specialist
 (479) 251-8229
 ttidwell@spacephotonics.com
Business Contact
 Charles Chalfant
Title: CEO
Phone: (479) 575-5316
Email: cchalfant@spacephotonics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Space Photonics, Inc. (SPI) is proposing development of a revolutionary integrated optical encoder-IMU that is the “last piece of the puzzle” for applying our beam steering technologies to long distance link systems (GEO-to-GEO, GEO-to-LEO) and high-precision IR object tracking. This MEMS sensor innovation utilizes an optical encoding technique whereby an optical fiber input and an optical fiber “collector” are used to measure variations in optical power induced by relative motion of an illuminated encoder. The collected signal varies in optical intensity based on the motion and acceleration of the beam steering system, thereby providing not only precise (e.g., gimbal) position information but also vibration/jitter data. This innovation will enable very fast acquisition and tracking over very long distances through the precise measurement and compensation of initial pointing errors (by autonomous knowledge of vehicle location and orientation) and vibration induced vehicle errors. Further, our compact, low power integrated optical encoder-IMU design effectively addresses the three primary problems with existing IMUs; integration errors, lack of co-location with the pointing device (end-effector), and electromagnetic interference (EMI). This greatly improves the precision and significantly reduces the corruption of measurement data into the controller. Another benefit is that this device may be incorporated in any existing system as a drop-in enhancement (e.g., as a low-level, autonomous device in the control loop).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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