Air force 16. 1 Small Business Innovation Research (sbir) Proposal Submission Instructions



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This will directly supports the interoperability of data recorders across Major Range and Test Facility Base (MRTFB) members and other test and training ranges that subscribe to the RCC standards. This task will benefit all users and vendors.

The solutions:
1. Will be utilized in a laboratory environment.t
2. May include any combination of open-source, non-propriety hardware (microcontroller, microcomputer, single board computers, package on package, etc.), newly developed hardware, or commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware.
3. Must be 100 percent open-source software.
4. May use any operating system software.

The proposer must prove to have a good working knowledge and understanding of IRIG-106, Ch. 10.

The government will not provide any software, hardware, test equipment or tools to aid in development of the solutions.

PHASE I: Research in this phase should focus on understanding the structure and requirements and develop innovative tools for interoperability compliance of flight test data recorders with IRIG-106. Existing tools (Ch. 10 Validator Toolset, SDS METS-231) should be evaluated and analyzed for strengths and weaknesses.

PHASE II: Research in Phase II should be focused on working out the interfaces for validation including signal generation, format structures, timing, and interfaces. Phase II should also see the development of the validator architecture based on the requirement documented in Phase I.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Military Application: Data recorder interoperability compliance across test ranges with IRIG-106 for military applications. Commercial Application: This standard is used commercially as well. Solutions will be equally useful for commercial data recorder vendors.

REFERENCES:

1. Document 106-13, TELEMETRY STANDARDS, (PART 1), JUNE 2013, Prepared by TELEMETRY GROUP, Range Commanders Council, US Army White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico 88002-5110.


http://www.wsmr.army.mil/RCCsite/Pages/default.aspx

2. Document 118-10, TELEMETRY TEST METHODS, RECORDERS AND REPRODUCERS, JUNE 2010, Prepared by TELEMETRY GROUP, Range Commanders Council, US Army White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico 88002-5110. http://www.wsmr.army.mil/RCCsite/Pages/default.aspx

3. Document 123-09, IRIG 106-07 Chapter 10 PROGRAMMERS HANDBOOK, MARCH 2009, Prepared by TELEMETRY GROUP, Range Commanders Council, US Army White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico 88002-5110. http://www.wsmr.army.mil/RCCsite/Pages/default.aspx

4. Synchronized Multi-channel Data Source with Embedded Time (METS 231), Scientific Data Systems LLC) (Las Cruces, NM). www.sdsnm.com

KEYWORDS: telemetry standards, IRIG-106, Chapter 10, Digital Data Recorder Standard, Range Commanders Council



AF161-033

TITLE: Precise Autonomous Vehicle Velocity Control

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Nuclear Technology

OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate a test bed that smoothly and accurately follows a defined acceleration and velocity profile in the forward direction, decelerates to a defined stop point, and reverses direction to return to the original start position.

DESCRIPTION: Next-generation weapons include very accurate navigation systems. The 10-mile long Holloman High Speed Test Track (HHSTT) is aligned within 0.040 inches of a precisely surveyed fiducial reference curve. The 30,000 feet of the HHSTT includes an array of precisely surveyed optical interrupter blades whose leading and trailing edges are measured to within a 0.004 inches accuracy. When the sled system is in motion, the data collection timing system time tags the interrupted beam’s position accurately within 10 nanoseconds (ns). This precise and accurate reference truth is essential to determining the error sources of individual inertial sensor errors. Multiple forward and reverse accelerations and velocities allow separation and quantification of sensor errors that are highly correlated if only short-duration, unidirectional accelerations are used.

The current state-of-the-art in guidance systems testing on rocket sleds is to 1) use a set of rockets to launch the sled in the down track/forward direction, decelerate it with water braking and then tow it back to the start point, or 2) use a rocket sled with opposing rocket motors wherein the first set creates forward direction acceleration and the second set fires at the correct position to decelerate the sled and then reverse the motion to produce reverse accelerations and velocities. There are numerous disadvantages to these rocket sled test approaches. First, rocket sled tests are expensive given all the safety issues and rocket motor costs. In the first test method, the forward acceleration and velocity adequately resembles a launch condition while water braking does generate deceleration to separate sensor errors. However, the duration of the test is very short and produces only limited data from which to characterize the inertial sensor errors. The second method is subject to reliability issues given that both sets of motors must fire at the correct time to create the defined profile. This method also suffers from an inability to adequately determine the reversal time-position and define the final time and position of the reverse leg of the cycle. Both methods require the sleds to be removed from the test track to replace the propulsion systems which further degrades the time-position reference truth.

The successful outcome of this topic will provide a test bed that shall:


1) Smoothly accelerate a payload at variable g’s from 0.5g up to 2.5 g’s (thr)/8 g’s (obj) from stationary to 165 km/h (thr)/400 km/h (obj), sustain velocity up to 100 s and smoothly decelerate at the inverse variable g-range to stationary.
2) Accurately repeat the forward and reverse profile up to 20 times in a single test.
3) Minimize angular and translational vibrations for frequencies less than 60 Hz.
4) Operate on the HHSTT without interference with other tests.
5) House an instrumented rack (200kg, 1m x 1m x 1.3m) and accompanying Advanced Digital Antenna Program (ADAP) Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA) and Locata system antenna.
6) Provide environmental protection from rain/humidity/dust/etc.
7) Provide environmental control in the form of cooling.

PHASE I: Research technologies and new applications of them to produce the required profiles while meeting the other requirements. Assemble an analysis of alternatives to rank possible solutions with respect to technical, cost and schedule risk. Develop a conceptual design of at least one solution worthy of Phase II prototype demonstration.

PHASE II: Design, build and demonstrate some of the system critical technologies on the HHSTT.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Military Application: Test items that require a highly accurate reference.


Commercial Application: Energy storage device, propulsion system, regenerative braking system, strong lightweight materials developed & intelligent control systems could be used to improve passenger and freight rail service.

REFERENCES:

1. “RVTV Cans and Cannots,” Norm Ingold, 24 Feb 2015 (Available on request).

2. Ingold, N. L., "Reverse Velocity Rocket Sled Test Bed for Inertial Guidance Systems,” 38th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Navigation, Colorado Spring, Colorado, 15-17 June 1982, (Available on request)

3. Ingold, N. L., "Proposed Use of Retro Rockets for Optimizing Analysis of Inertial Guidance System Errors in 100-G Sled Tests,” Central Inertial Guidance Test Facility, 6585th Test Group (AFSC), Holloman Air Force Base, NM, circa 1980, (Available on request).

KEYWORDS: composite materials, regenerative braking, energy storage, propulsion system, propulsion assist





AF161-034

TITLE: Fiber Metrology Verification and Validation for High Power Fiber Lasers

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop innovative concepts, metrology methods and technologies for accurately measuring and verifying physical, refractive index and doping profile geometries of optical fibers fabricated for high power fiber lasers.

DESCRIPTION: High energy lasers (HELs) are required for a number of military applications including long-range sensing, target designation and illumination and missile defense. Electric lasers are considered the laser of choice in the long term since the energy supply is rechargeable and clean. The preferred type of electric laser is the semiconductor diode-pumped fiber laser, which integrates well with other sensors and electro-optic elements in an aerospace environment. Directed energy (DE) missions require electrically efficient, compact, scalable architectures leading to kilowatts of power in a diffraction-limited laser beam for precision engagement of hard to kill targets. Fiber lasers and amplifiers have demonstrated efficient optical-to-optical power conversion into diffraction-limited laser beams. The development and demonstration of concepts and hardware which enable high-brightness, high-power scaling of Ytterbium and Thulium fiber lasers/amplifiers are needed to mature components and subsystems for robust system architectures. This topic seeks to develop innovative concepts, metrology methods and technologies for accurately measuring and verifying physical, refractive index and doping profile geometries of optical fibers fabricated for high power fiber lasers. Examples: Ytterbium can efficiently lase between 1030 nanometers and 1080 nm while Thulium can lase between 1850 and 2100 nanometers. The need to verify, “as drawn,” fiber parameters to an intended design is critical to extending the laser reliability and power scaling beyond current state of the art. Refractive index profile impacts the ability of the fiber optic wave guide to maintain diffraction limited beam quality. Measurement of refractive index and tolerance of refractive index for typical large mode area rare earth doped fused silica fibers is 1x10e-4, plus or minus 5x10e-5. Therefore refractive index differences between cores and cladding materials are critical parameters when propagating or combining multiple fiber lasers concurrently and is critical to the implementation of advanced beam control architectures. Additionally, non-destructive approaches must also focus on methods and apparatus that can validate distribution and concentration of the various materials in an optical fiber that have been optimized to operate with high optical efficiency, minimum non-linear effects and minimum high order mode effects. Measurement by % weight of rare earth dopants in an active fused silica cores needs to be measured to an accuracy of +/- 0.1 percent.

PHASE I: Develop and mature innovative concepts, metrology methods and technologies for accurately measuring and verifying physical, refractive index and doping profile geometries of optical fibers fabricated for high power fiber lasers. Inspection methods developed should be non-destructive to optical fibers and amenable to fiber endface and lateral inspection approaches.

PHASE II: Demonstrate innovative concepts, metrology methods and technologies for accurately measuring & verifying physical, refractive index & rare earth doping constituent mapping geometries of high power optical fibers. Apparatus for verifying physical, refractive index, rare earth doping constituents must be fabricated & demonstrated to verify fiber geometry, material distribution of singlemode, multimode & novel fibers including, large mode area, photonic crystal and photonic bandgap fibers.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Commercialization of apparatus and technologies for accurately measuring and verifying physical, refractive index and rare earth doping constituent mapping geometries of optical fibers fabricated for high power fiber lasers.

REFERENCES:

1. D. Marcuse, Principles of Optical Fiber Measurement, Chapter 4, New York: Academic Press (1981).

2. A. D. Yablon; Jayesh Jasapara; Hyperspectral optical fiber refractive index measurement spanning 2.5 octaves. Proc. SPIE 8601, Fiber Lasers X: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 86011V (February 26, 2013).

3. Y. Zhao, S. Fleming, K. Lyytikainen, and L. Poladian, "Nondestructive Measurement for Arbitrary RIP Distribution of Optical Fiber Preforms," J. Lightwave Technol. 22, 478- (2004).

4. P. Pace, S. Huntington, K. Lyytikäinen, A. Roberts, and J. Love, "Refractive index profiles of Ge-doped optical fibers with nanometer spatial resolution using atomic force microscopy," Opt. Express 12, 1452-1457 (2004).

5. N.M. Dragomir et al., “Three-Dimensional Quantitative Phase Imaging: Current and Future Perspectives,” Proc. SPIE, 6861 (2008).

KEYWORDS: fiber laser, rare earth doped fibers, optical fiber refractive index profiling



AF161-035

TITLE: Image Processing that Supports Air-to-Air, High-Bandwidth, Image-Based, Active Tracking

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop image processing that reduces degradation of high-bandwidth, image-based tracking on an aircraft using laser illumination of an airborne target. The goal is to maintain precision of the track algorithm to below a fifth of a pixel diameter.

DESCRIPTION: Future missions for military and law enforcement aircraft include the use of high energy lasers (HEL) to interdict adversarial/criminal aircraft. For both military and law-enforcement aircraft, benefits of HEL-employment include a deep magazine, speed-of-light engagement, control of the extent of damage to the target aircraft, and avoidance of collateral damage due to wayward ordinance.

The HEL requires an image-based tracking algorithm that has precision below a fifth of a pixel diameter, given an optical design so that the track camera focal plane array conducts diffraction-limited sampling. Also, in order to gather imagery of the target that has sufficient SNR, it will be necessary to flood illuminate the target with another laser, the track Illumination laser (TILL). The reflections of the TILL off the target are focused on the track camera focal plane to obtain an image of the target. The track algorithm operates on this image of the target, and is typically a correlation algorithm, or an approximation such as the Fitts Correlation track algorithm.

In addition to free-stream atmospheric turbulence, there will also be aero-optic (A-O) disturbances, which are local to the aircraft. (The speed of the air flow across the beam director aperture will be transonic.) Both of these disturbances will impart aberrations on the TILL wavefronts that propagate to and from the target. Regarding the imaging of the return TILL wavefronts, it is expected that the low-order (tilt) component of the TILL wavefront error will be composed of temporal frequency components up to 3kHz. In order for the tracking system to reject line-of-sight jitter by 50 percent, the -3dB error-rejection bandwidth of the closed-loop control system must be approximately 350Hz with a track camera frame rate (sample rate) of approximately 7kHz.

It is expected that the imaging of the return TILL wavefronts will contain intensity artifacts induced by atmospheric disturbances. The A-O disturbances affecting the imaging system will be exacerbated by the protrusion of a turret from the aircraft that contains optical components for the imaging system. The free-stream and A-O disturbances are expected to induce scintillation on the TILL illumination of the target. In addition, surface roughness of the tracked target is expected to impart speckle in the image of the target. At a high sample rate of 7kHz, there will be relatively little averaging of the intensity artifacts caused by scintillation, speckle, and sensor noise. If left unmitigated, these intensity artifacts will likely degrade the performance of the image-based track algorithm.

Therefore, the aim of this topic is to develop an image processing scheme that mitigates intensity artifacts in the imagery due to the likely presence of scintillation, speckle, and sensor noise. The purpose of the mitigation is to prevent degradation of the performance of the image-based track algorithm in high-bandwidth tracking of laser-illuminated targets. The goal is to maintain precision of the image-based tracking algorithm below a fifth of a pixel diameter. (The government will provide higher-order disturbances acquired by a turreted aircraft, along with an associated CFD estimate of the tilt disturbance. The government will also provide a copy of the Fitts track algorithm}.

PHASE I: Develop a wave-optics model to obtain synthetic track camera imagery of an extended target. Estimate the degrading effect of scintillation, speckle, and sensor noise. Develop image processing that mitigates these degraders to maintain the precision of an image-based track algorithm to 1/5 of a pixel, for high-bandwidth tracking of laser-illuminated targets. Evaluate by modeling and simulation.

PHASE II: Integrate the image-processing scheme with an image-based tracking algorithm. Implement the image processing and track algorithm on hardware, and integrate with a government tracking system at a government facility. Demonstrate the tracking system's performance at the government facility, which will provide replication of scintillation, speckle, and
aero-optic induced tilt.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Test the tracking system in flight. Develop and execute a plan to market and manufacture to military and law enforcement the product developed in Phase II. Carry out the necessary engineering, system integration, packaging, and testing to field a robust, reliable system in flight.

REFERENCES:

1. G. P. Perram, S. J. Cusumano, R. L. Hengehold, and S. T. Fiorino, Introduction to Laser Weapon Systems, Directed Energy Professional Society, 2010.

2. P. Merritt, Beam Control for Laser Systems, Directed Energy Professional Society, 2012.

3. L. C. Andrews, R. L. Phillips, and C. Y. Hopen, Laser Beam Scintillation with Applications, SPIE Press, 2001.

4. M. C. Roggeman and B. Welsh, Imaging through Turbulence, CRC Press, Boca Raton (1996).

5. Several articles in “Special Section on Aero-Optics and Adaptive Optics for Aero-Optics,” Optical Engineering, SPIE, Vol. 52, Issue 7, July 2013.

KEYWORDS: image processing, laser illumination, active tracking, tracking, aero-optics, aircraft self-protect, scintillation, speckle



AF161-036

TITLE: Mitigation of Scintillation and Speckle for Tracking Moving Targets

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the AF SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Gail Nyikon, gail.nyikon@us.af.mil.

OBJECTIVE: Develop methods to reduce negative effects of scintillation and speckle noise that arise in the active illumination of a moving target. Methods could include image processing algorithms and/or hardware development including laser illuminator.

DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks innovative research leading to the development of illuminators and optical systems for mitigation of the effects of scintillation and speckle. Imaging systems based on laser illumination can be used to provide high resolution imaging and tracking of moving targets. A problem that arises from the propagation of the illuminator beam to the target and back to the detector (camera) is atmospherically-induced scintillation. Additionally, speckle noise from the surface of an extended target profile can occur causing degradation of the tracking image. The conventional approach to speckle-noise mitigation is multi-measurement averaging wherein several target measurements with independent speckle noise realizations are averaged. This has the drawback that multiple measurements must be collected during which time the target may be moving and changing aspect angle. This is particularly deleterious if the output of the illuminator is to be used for high-speed tracking of the target. Scintillation originates due to the phase distortions of the wave fronts leading to intensity fluctuations at the sensor after the illumination beam has propagated over a distance. Speckle originates from constructive and destructive interference experienced by a laser beam as it reflects from the surface roughness of an illuminated target. Scintillation and speckle are considered noise effects in the imagery as a target is tracked. Scintillation has a deleterious effect on active tracking algorithms in that the algorithms tend to track the scintillation rather than the target. It would be advantageous to separate out the negative effects of scintillation and speckle using optical and electronic components and system hardware (and software) design. Developing laser illuminators to decrease speckle and scintillation using methods to reduce laser coherence or using multiple sources and/or wavelengths could be approaches to consider. Additionally speckle noise may be reduced by use of an illuminator with low coherence such as an array of multi-mode diode lasers. However such low coherence, direct-diode illuminators usually have a divergence of 50-100 times the diffraction limit requiring large transmitter apertures in order to maintain a high illuminator energy density on a distant target. Example approaches might be multi-wavelength lasers, de-phased laser arrays, or arrays of multi-mode lasers with an optical coupling scheme to reduce divergence. Another approach might be to incorporate into the system a glass or fused silica waveguide fabricated to reduce speckle through multiple total internal reflections. Other examples of possible solutions are distributed illuminator transmitter apertures and adaptive scintillation prediction algorithms incorporated into the tracker. The range for consideration is around 20 km for a tactical scenario. The aperture for a complete illuminator system should not exceed 25 cm in diameter.

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