Broadband LONDE Sensor Technology (BLONDE)

Period of Performance: 05/20/2002 - 05/20/2004

$1.05MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Optometrix, Inc.
4134 Lind Avenue SW
Renton, WA 98055
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to combine two developing technologies, near field microwave sensors and short pulse microwave generation/detection, into a compact, real-time tool for test and evaluation of low observable materials and structures. This tool is critical to field maintenance of stealth vehicles, potentially affecting the health and safety of both the vehicle and its occupants. For the last three years, OptoMetrix has been working with the Boeing Company to develop a free-space broadband microwave spectrometer for use on stealth vehicles. The core technology of this instrument is the generation and detection of short (10's of picosecond) microwave pulses, which provides a wide bandwidth in a simple, compact package. At the same time, the Boeing Company was developing near field microwave probes for narrow band interrogation of material properties. Our Phase I effort demonstrated that the combination of these two technologies for producing a broadband, near field tool exceeded our expectations for sensitivity and material discrimination. This tool promises to meet or exceed the demands of field maintainability and thereby minimize the risks to personnel and equipment.