Autonomous Lost on Earth Navigation System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-12-M-0217
Agency Tracking Number: F121-091-0292
Amount: $149,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-091
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
Information Technologies Division, 1845 W. 205th Street, Torrance, CA, -
DUNS: 153865951
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Anup Katake
 Team Leader
 (310) 320-3088
Business Contact
 Gordon Drew
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (310) 320-3088
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for a miniature high-altitude precision navigation alternative, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Autonomous Lost on Earth Navigation (ALOEN) sensor system. This proposed system is based on a new design that utilizes an amalgam of mature POC-developed components and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. This innovation in high-speed stellar imaging and local vertical estimation will enable the system to estimate the platform position in a geodetic frame of reference. As a result, this system offers position estimates similar to those of precision navigation systems while being compact and lightweight, which directly addresses the Air Force requirements. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of the ALOEN system by conducting extensive analysis, simulations, and combinations of laboratory and field tests of critical technologies. In Phase II, POC plans to continue development of the system, build a system-level prototype, perform extensive field testing to demonstrate navigation precision similar to that of GPS, and deliver the prototypes and a comprehensive report, including simulations, to the Air Force. BENEFIT: The proposed ALOEN system will provide a high-altitude platform with the capability to estimate its geodetic position with GPS-like accuracy in a GPS-denied environment. This will allow the platform to perform accurate and reliable mid-course navigation corrections to minimize target location errors. For military applications, this system could act as a backup to a GPS system on a weapon, UAV, or even a high-altitude manned aircraft. In the commercial sector, the proposed system could be used as a backup to GPS on passenger as well as cargo aircraft. NASA could use this system for its high-altitude vehicles, as well as for navigation on the lunar surface or surfaces of other planets where a GPS constellation has not been set up.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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