Local Area Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Optical Sensor System for Satellites

Period of Performance: 04/16/2008 - 01/11/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digital Fusion
5030 Bradford DriveBuilding 1, Suite 210
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator


Digital Fusion Solutions (DFS) proposes to develop a visible imaging polarimeter to support space situational awareness, with a focus on geostationary orbit. The proposed sensor operates autonomously with a wide field of view to for target/anomaly detection and then switches to a narrow field of view for in-depth surveillance of suspect objects. The sensor is fabricated using a proprietary optical system integrated with traditional optics and a CMOS focal plane array. This arrangement enables robust detection and polarimetric characterization of unresolved objects. A two axis gimbal system is used to allow the sensor to survey a 2p field of regard. Under Phase II DFS will deliver a fully functional breadboard sensor integrated with a laboratory grade gimbal system. A host emulator will be used to demonstrate functionality in several key areas including accurate measurement of unresolved targets, detection and tracking of unresolved targets in the wide field of view mode and object tracking and characterization in the narrow field of view.