Non-Mechanical High Resolution LADAR Based Around A Frequency Swept Optical Source

Period of Performance: 02/25/2010 - 02/25/2012

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Bridger Photonics, Inc.
2310 University Way, Bldg. 4-4 Array
Bozeman, MT 59715
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Bridger Photonics (BP) and collaborative partner Montana State University (MSU) propose to develop a completely novel, non-mechanical scanning mechanism that will enable a compact, high-resolution, imaging LADAR system for enhanced navigation aid during helicopter brownouts. Such systems are becoming prominent in today s modernized military especially as the cost in lives and dollars has come to the Navy s attention. LADAR imaging is needed for increased functionality including enhanced situational awareness, obstacle detection and avoidance during landing. Due to the demanding payload requirements, any enabling technology must be sufficiently rugged, compact and lightweight. BP s proposed LADAR system will be capable of rapid volumetric scans with resolution up to 1 cm3 over a range of 30 m and a 30º x 60º field-of-view. The system will utilize an ultra-compact laser source, have no moving parts, and take advantage of a unique heterodyne detection technique to reduce receiver electronic bandwidths and processing requirements making the system robust, compact, extremely sensitive and affordable. Under this proposed effort, the team will build a brassboard, scalable prototype system for both ground and flight tests under harsh atmospheric conditions.