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SBIR Phase II: Fast and Accurate Laser Distance Metrology
Phone: (406) 920-1339
Phone: (406) 920-1339
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will enhance and optimize the Precision Distance Measurement system developed during the Phase I effort. The technology is based on innovative ultra-precise control of frequency-swept lasers to determine absolute object distances and thicknesses. The system is capable of distance and thickness measurements with<10-nanometer precisions,>1 kHz update rates, volume measurement coverage of 1 m3 (<10-micron precision), and measurement ranges>>1 meter. This combination of features is needed for industrial metrology, target identification, and precision surveying applications. During the Phase II effort, a prototype system will be constructed and used to perform targeted experiments based on identified OEM customer needs and industry technology gaps. The prototype will include Doppler compensation, a software interface, and will be fully configured and tested for both in-house and on-site testing. The prototype will then be used to perform critical in-house and on-site demonstrations driven by OEM customer needs, which include spatial multiplexing and galvo steering for rendering rapid 3D images, precise measurement of large-angle and diffusely scattering surfaces for precise measurement of aspheric lenses, oddly shaped objects, and rough surfaces, and precise measurement of meter-level displacements for CMM and gauge block calibration. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will initially be to improve manufacturing efficiency, quality, and production throughput. The measurement system uniquely combines extremely high precision (<10 nm) with the ability to measure over extremely large ranges (>>1 m). Due to this combination of performance and flexibility, coupled with demonstrated high update rates, the technology will enable increased production throughput in the manufacturing process and enable rapid absolute positioning and scanning measurements. The system will therefore enable considerable growth in an industry driven by advanced and more accurate inspection. The project will also lead to important societal benefits. For example, the technology holds promise for penetration into severely degraded visual environments caused by blowing sand and dust as well as into smoke or fog. It is anticipated that a variety of military and civilian applications would benefit from this capability including navigation, fire safety, and inspection systems. The benefits include saved lives and reduced property damage and more efficient search and rescue in burning buildings. Moreover, the system provides unique scientific opportunities such as enabling advanced space-based measurements by formation flying sparse apertures for the exploration of extra-solar planets and for atmospheric turbulence mitigation and high resolution imaging of the earth from space.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *