Threat Assessment Sensor Suite (TASS)
Small Business Information
6201 East Oltorf St., Suite 400, Austin, TX, -
AbstractABSTRACT: There is a need for space optical systems that have high sensitivity and can stare over a super-wide field of regard without the complexity, size, weight, and cost associated with scanners or wide-angle optics. Nanohmics proposes to build and test a novel, low-cost optical system for satellite situational awareness that has a spherical field of regard. The optical system has no moving parts, has a very small depth along the optical axes, and can be constructed from light and extremely low-cost injection-molded polymers or space-quality glasses. Based on a wide-angle laser threat detector system, the innovative Threat Assessment Sensor Suite (TASS) we propose combines non-imaging optics with integrated reflective surfaces to achieve a wide optical field of regard without sacrificing angular accuracy, sensitivity, or collection aperture. In operation, the TASS system stares for extended periods of time, detecting unusual events with unique spectral signatures that may indicate activity by orbital debris, other satellites and/or directed energy threats. If detected, spectral information, angle to the object, direction and speed information, and a magnitude estimate are forwarded to the spacecraft host bus for dissemination. Additionally, the detected location of the potential satellite, orbital debris or directed energy can be passed off to a narrow field-of-view imaging sensor for more detailed analysis of the potential threat. BENEFIT: The novel wide field-of-view optical system developed in this program will find utility in a number of commercial and military applications, from laser warning systems for spacecraft, vehicles, aircraft, and rotorcraft, to search and rescue beacon locators, and personal soldier laser warning devices. Commercial applications involve industrial tracking and location, monitoring of robots, and surveillance of airport and border perimeters.
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