LIDAR DETECTION OF SPACE DEBRIS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 17952
Amount: $482,942.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1993
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Visidyne, Inc.
10 Corporate Place, South, Bedford Street, Burlington, MA, 01803
Duns: N/A
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ott Shepard
 (617) 273-2820
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY BOTH THE AIR FORCE AND NASA THAT SPACE DEBRIS IN THE GROWING HAZARD TO SPACE OPERATIONS. OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE ARE DEBRIS IN THE 0.1 - 10 CM SIZE RANGE. OVER THIS RANGE, DEBRIS DATABASES (AND CONSEQUENTLY DEBRIS MADELS) ARE DEFICIENT. ALSO, THESE PARTICILE SIZES ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF THEIR POTENTIAL FOR DAMAGING SPACECRAFT. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE PROPOSED PHASE I EFFORT IS TO EXPLORE THE FEASIBILITY OF DEVELOPING A LIDAR SYSTEM TO CHARACTERIZE SPACE DEBRIS. PARTICULAR, BUT NOT EXCULSIVE, ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN TO DETECTION OF DEBRIS IN THE 0.1 -10 CM RANGE. THE CHALLENGE IN DESIGNING A SYSTEM TO CHARACTERIZE SPACE DEBRIS IS THE WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE OVER WHICH THE SYSTEM MUST OPERATE. THE SYSTEM MUST SAMPLE A LARGE VOLUME OF SPACE IN ORDER TO DETECT THE RARE LARGE DEBRIS PARTICLES. SIMULTANEOUSLY, THE SYSTEM MUST MAINTAIN ENOUGH SENSITIVITY TO DETECT THE MORE NUMBEROUS, DEBRIS PARTICLES. THE PROPOSED PHASE I EFFORT WILL COMPARE A VARIETY OF MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS. A RECOMMENDATION WILL BE MADE BASED UPON SYSTEM PERFORMANCE, INCLUDING MINIMUM DETECTABLE PARTICLE SIZE, PARTICLE DETECTION RATE, CHARACTERIZATION OF THE DEBRIS, ENGINEERING FEASABILITY, AND SUITABILITY FOR SPACEFLIGHT. ISSUES RELATED TO THE ORBITAL OPERATION OF THE INSTRUMENT WILL BE ADDRESSED.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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