Autonomous Lost on Earth Navigation System

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
Integrated Systems Division, 1845 West 205th Street, Torrance, CA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Wenjian Wang
Director, Sensor Computin
(310) 320-3088
Business Contact:
Gordon Drew
Chief Financial Officer
(310) 320-3088
Research Institution:
ABSTRACT: Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to advance the development of the Autonomous Lost on Earth Navigation (ALOEN) technology proven feasible in Phase I. ALOEN is a stand-alone, compact (12 in. x 10 in. x 8 in.), low-weight (6.4 lb), and power-conserving (17 W) system that is capable of providing better than 2.8 m circular error probable (CEP) performance (Kalman filtered) in a"lost-on-Earth"scenario wherein no prior position knowledge is available. In Phase I, POC completed the design of the ALOEN system through theoretical analysis, simulation, and field testing. In Phase II, POC will finalize the ALOEN design and build a system-level prototype. The ALOEN algorithms will be tested through a star image simulation environment that includes realistic flight, electro-optics and environment models. We will test the device and perform a flight test using a high-altitude balloon. We will evaluate the prototype performance and demonstrate navigation precision similar to that of the Global Positioning System (GPS). At the end of Phase II, we will deliver the prototype and a comprehensive report, including simulations, to the Air Force. The Phase II result will be a technology readiness level (TRL)-4 prototype ready for transition to productization and certification. BENEFIT: The 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 midcourse navigation corrections to minimize target location errors. For military applications, this system could act as a backup to a GPS on a weapon, unmanned aerial vehicle (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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