Airborne Enhanced Rear Obstacle Avoidance System

Period of Performance: 05/07/2013 - 11/15/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


To address the Army’s need for a low-cost rearward sense-and-avoid system, Physical Optics Corporation proposes to develop an Airborne Enhanced Rear Obstacle Avoidance System (AERO). The AERO system is based on a novel integration of two orthogonal obstacle sense-and-avoid techniques specifically for rearward operation. The key innovation in the AERO system is its unique system design that provides highly accurate obstacle detection and avoidance as well as situational awareness in degraded visual environment such as rain, fog, dust, or during nighttime operation. Moreover, the algorithm also provides the capability to track object trajectories. The design also provides military-accepted standard interfaces such as RS232 or MIL-STD-1553. In addition, the compact, low cost system is easy to acquire and integrate with airborne platform. In Phase I, POC will perform a technical feasibility and operational suitability test of the AERO system. A scaled-down version of the system will be developed and tested in POC laboratory. We anticipate that at the end of Phase II, AERO will reach technology readiness level (TRL) 5/6 and will be ready for initial tests.