Sheared Coherent Interferometric Photography for Space Situational Awareness
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AbstractOptical Physics Company is proposing to develop a space object imager based on three dimensional sheared coherent interferometric photography (3D SCIP). The approach provides a lightweight and scalable imaging system , immune to atmospheric turbulence and Doppler shifts of fast moving space objects. The imaging platform can be ground based, airborne, or in space. A 0.5-10 m aperture using a lightweight Fresnel film collector provides 5cm 2D resolution and 5 mm depth resolution at 30-1000 km range for space based imagers. For ground based imagers, a 3D image at 2.5 cm 2D and 2.5 mm depth resolution at 1000 km range is possible using a 20 m diameter aperture built using tiled panels. During the first six months of the Phase I effort, the baseline design of the imager will be defined. Performance estimates for the baseline design will be based on an analytic performance model of the end-to-end system and the results of high fidelity simulations of multiple imaging scenarios. During the last three months of the Phase I effort, a laboratory demonstration will be designed, assembled, and tested to validate the analytic performance model. The project will conclude with the design of the Phase II Prototype. BENEFIT: Standard imaging techniques do not provide the capabilities for detecting and identifying space objects. With space threats increasing and smaller satellites being deployed, this capability is becoming a growing need. OPC"s 3D SCIP approach provides a complete and cost effective solution for this shortfall. The technologies developed under this effort can be applied to many air surveillance systems, as well. As an example, the 3D SCIP imager could be coupled to a coelostat can benefit detection of small UAV"s. To facilitate technology transition, OPC already has already identified a major prime contractor. The prime contractor is a system integrator with considerable experience in LADAR imaging systems, image processing and military manufacturing. OPC and the prime contractor have already worked together to consider practical issues related to embedding 3D SCIP in a field deployable system.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.