Multi-Aperture Hypersonic Imager

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$146,016.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
FA8651-13-M-0175
Agency Tracking Number:
F131-099-2039
Solicitation Year:
2013
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF131-099
Solicitation Number:
2013.1
Small Business Information
OPTRA, Inc
461 Boston Street, Topsfield, MA, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
038336723
Principal Investigator:
Julia Dupuis
Chief Technical Officer
(978) 887-6600
jrentz@optra.com
Business Contact:
James Engel
President
(978) 887-6600
jengel@optra.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
ABSTRACT: The Air Force is requires an innovative multi-aperture sensor for mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared (LWIR) capable of extended operation at a speed between Mach 4 and Mach 7 and an altitude between 50,000 and 70,000ft, for navigation and terminal homing applications. The leading edge of a vehicle traveling at Mach 7 may experience temperatures over 1700C, while typical optical materials such as Zinc Sulfide (ZnS) oxidize at around 200C. OPTRA proposes a system based on a multi-aperture telescope. This approach uses multiple small optical windows, minimizing atmospheric distortion across each window and enabling conductive cooling of the windows through their mounting surfaces. For sufficiently small light sources, this approach can match the resolution achievable with a single large aperture and enables the use of an algorithm to remove atmospheric distortion. The sensor will have an outer layer made from a heat-resistant alloy, and an inner layer made from a material with high thermal conductivity which will be actively cooled. The heat load on the optical windows will be dissipated by thermal conduction through the inner layer. A prototype will be designed based on results from fluid, thermal and optical simulations using FEA, as well as from breadboard tests. BENEFIT: Resolution of 1.5 arc-minutes at 10m for sufficiently small light sources Small individual windows enable conductive cooling of infrared windows in hypersonic airstream Small individual windows minimize atmospheric distortions across each window Algorithm using closure phases eliminates phase errors between windows for sufficiently small sources Physically conformal: sensor surface contours can exactly match the desired vehicle surface contours

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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