Morphable Payload Support Enabled Through Interface Standardization System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-C-1350
Agency Tracking Number: F103-170-0519
Amount: $743,081.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-170
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
Applied Technologies Division, 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100, Torrance, CA, -
DUNS: 153865951
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Shean McMahon
 (310) 320-3088
Business Contact
 Gordon Drew
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (310) 320-3088
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to advance the development of the Morphable Payload Support Enabled Through Interface Standardization (MENTIS) technology proven feasible in Phase I. MENTIS provides a standard payload interface (SPI) between a small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) platform and its payload that meets the USAF need for a scalable, open-architecture SPI. In Phase I, POC designed three MENTIS devices for a large variety of SUAS platforms; one of these designs led to a bus-powered TRL-4 prototype (1 x 1 x 3/4 in.) that was tested to demonstrate capability of correcting for connector mismatch, providing transparent connector pinout remapping and supporting transcoding to overcome signal and data format incompatibilities. In Phase II, POC will finalize the MENTIS design and fabricate the three prototypes defined in Phase I. We will test these devices and perform a flight test of one of them. The Phase II results will be a TRL-6 prototype ready for transition to productization and certification. POC will also initiate the process of instantiating a payload-interface-standards working group. Results to date have already attracted support for Phase II/III commercialization of the MENTIS technology including support from a UAS manufacturer for flight testing of the MENTIS in Phase II. BENEFIT: Successful completion of the MENTIS technology will benefit the nation by providing a standard payload interface solution that will directly simplify vexing interface issues that plague avionics, marine, and military applications. Currently, this market niche is filled by custom-fabricated one-off solutions, which adds significant cost and support requirements to the end user. MENTIS will eliminate the need for multiple diverse technologies, and allow the resultant funding savings to be redirected to research and development efforts. The government will benefit from improved technologies, increased tax revenue, savings in military spending, and reduced unemployment rates made possible by newly enabled business ventures. Commercial sectors will benefit from more straightforward and rapid data interfacing capability coupled with reduced developmental costs for end products.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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