Wide-Field-of-View (WFOV) Multiwaveband Multimode Seeker Technology

Period of Performance: 07/24/2014 - 09/13/2015

$375K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Polaris Sensor Technologies, Inc.
200 Westside Square Array
Huntsville, AL 35801
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The next generation of precision guided munitions (PGM) need to have highly capable and multi modal sensors that offer the potential for both autonomous as well as man-in-the-loop target designation, ideally in the same munition with multiple modes accessible and switchable on demand within a single fly out. Such a sensor would offer a high precision strike, thus reducing the size of the warhead, and the potential for collateral damage and cost. The challenge described in this SBIR is to develop such a multi modal sensor while maintaining a footprint that minimizes the size of the weapon. Polaris Sensor Technologies proposes to develop a wide field of view (WFOV) semi-active laser (SAL) seeker that is compatible with organic laser designators. The use of innovative optical system design and high performance photo diodes enables a strap down SAL seeker that can operate stand alone in a 5 smart munition or with a WFOV IR seeker being developed on a separate SBIR. The proposed effort will design, develop, and deliver a prototype that can detect a 1% reflective target at 5 km. BENEFIT: A small, light-weight system with multi-mode capability is key to development of the next generation of smart weapons. The prototype developed in the proposed effort will demonstrate key capability for a SAL seeker integrable with a WFOV IR imager. The most likely commercialization path is with the Air Force's Flexible Weapons (FW) program, the objective of which is to develop and demonstrate a modular plug-n-play hardware solution for the next generation of smart munitions. The modular aspect of Flexible Weapon is a means to successfully achieve interoperability and composability at the weapon level. The proposed effort is well suited for this program as it brings significant SAL capability which, when coupled to the WFOV IR imager, broadens the mission space for a FW smart weapon. The proposed effort is timed such that it can help meet the objective of the first phase of the FW program, which is complete hardware demonstrations through modeling and simulation, hardware in the loop testing, and captive and UAV flight testing. Additional commercialization opportunities are being explored with UAV manufacturers to help automate flight operations in difficult environments.