In-Flight Imaging Systems for Hypervelocity and Re-Entry Vehicles

Period of Performance: 01/01/2004 - 12/31/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Thoughtventions, Inc.
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Principal Investigator


It is proposed to create a rugged, reliable, compact, standardized imaging system for hypervelocity and re-entry vehicles using sapphire windows, small imagers, and independent telemetry. Such a system is a novel creation that can tolerate the severe aerothermal environment associated with hypervelocity flight. The proposed system answers a critical need for enhanced situation awareness, performance characterization, and rapid anomaly resolution. Images of control surfaces, vehicle health, separation deployment, plume dynamics, combustion behavior, and many other vehicle properties provide a rapid, global assessment of the flows and control status of aerospace vehicles and propulsion systems using a standardized diagnostic package. The system design includes a window, window mounting system, camera, and independent telemetry system. Work in Phase 1 will include computational aerothermal modeling, window, mount, camera, and telemetry design, preliminary hazards analysis, and feasibility/ applications assessment. A Phase 2 prototype will be designed and fabricated for testing at a NASA facility, and finally used on a variety of vehicles in Phase 3. It is expected that the imaging system will have broad application for NASA, DOD, and commercial aerospace vehicles.