Multi-Point Trilateration: A New Approach for Distributed Metrology

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CF41P
Agency Tracking Number: 105800
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: S2.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Bridger Photonics Inc.
112 East Lincoln, Bozeman, MT, 59715-6504
DUNS: 788293244
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Randy Reibel
 Principal Investigator
 (406) 920-1339
 reibel@bridgerphotonics.com
Business Contact
 Randy Reibel
Title: Cheif Operations Officer
Phone: (406) 920-1339
Email: reibel@bridgerphotonics.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
For NASA missions requiring active control of segmented mirrors, optical trusses and booms, coherent, laser-based approaches such as CW laser interferometers have been preferred because they can provide very high resolution relative position measurements. Other approaches, such as multi-color interferometers can provide absolute range measurements. However, neither technique can measure multiple retroreflectors with a single optical transceiver. This has led to complex distributed metrology systems, which are limited in usefulness. Bridger Photonics Inc. proposes to investigate a novel distributed metrology approach that is uniquely enabled by its SLM-Series of actively stabilized swept laser sources. The technique, termed multi-point trilateration, uses a frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) chirped laser radar to determine the range to multiple reflectors that are illuminated simultaneously by three or more large field-of-view transceivers. Because Bridger's laser radar system can unambiguously determine the range to multiple targets within the field-of-view with high accuracy, trilateration can be utilized to estimate the three-dimensional (3D) coordinates for all of the retroreflective targets within the field-of-view. Bridger provides two critical advantages for the development of this distributed metrology system: 1) The world's highest resolution laser radar system, which is crucial for determining the range to the multiple retroreflectors, and 2) Proprietary processing techniques that enable Cramer-Rao lower bound limited range estimation. Under the proposed work plan, Bridger will provide an optimal design for Transceiver/Retroreflector geometries and model the expected performance, conduct demonstrations validating the system performance and provide a space-qualifiable, compact system design that can be built and delivered to NASA during a Phase II effort should the approach be feasible.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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