SynCon: a Master-time Synchronized Event Controller

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9201-11-C-0128
Agency Tracking Number: F103-236-1892
Amount: $98,125.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-236
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400, Rockville, MD, -
DUNS: 161911532
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Eric Doorn
 Chief Scientist
 (301) 294-5229
Business Contact
 Mark James
Title: Director, Contracts&Proposals
Phone: (301) 294-5221
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The Holloman High Speed Test Track (HHSTT) is the world's premier rocket sled test track. During tests, payload and instrumentation are moved over miles along rails by means of rocket sleds. Events like firing motors, initiating flares, and deploying petals are initiated along the length of the track when appropriate speeds/accelerations are reached. High speed sensors are used to collect data about the test events. Data and triggers must be time synchronized with sub-microsecond accuracy. However, the timing accuracy provided by the legacy master control computer is too poor for anticipated needs. Also, a solution independent of a cable plant leveraging modern wireless technology is desirable Intelligent Automation, Inc. proposes SynCon: a wireless, time-synchronized, event control system. SynCon consists of a single Master Event Controller and multiple sub-stations along the track. SynCon will use GPS-disciplined clocks at each sub-station along the track, and derive accurate timing data. We will also use redundant synchronization methods to improve robustness and performance. This reconfigurability will facilitate integration with legacy equipment (e.g. using serial/parallel interfaces), or newer instrumentation using USB or Firewire. BENEFIT: The proposed work directly addresses a critical need of the Air Force, specifically the need for cost-effective testing and evaluation of must-have equipment and safety features. wireless synchronization technology in general has both military and civilian applications. Military test ranges requiring common, precise time tagged event initiation and data collection. Large factories, refineries, docks or rail yards requiring common, precise time tagged events. Sync systems used in cell phone base-stations provide the source for the transmission frequencies that carry the data between cell-sites and the cell phone users, distribute UTC time, and synchronize all the stations in the network so the user's conversation is seamlessly transferred from one cell site to the next. The biggest users of these precision sync technologies are all the communications related industries, government/military services, and public utilities.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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