High Resolution Signal Processing Module for Precision Position Sensors

Period of Performance: 02/01/2012 - 07/31/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Blue Line Engineering Company
525 E. Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Principal Investigator


A new generation of position sensors is proposed that will enable dramatic improvements in the performance of fast steering mirrors for both space and airborne platforms. Sensors with resolution of 1 part in 38,000,000 or better and 16 bit accuracy are feasible. This represents a factor of 5 to 10 improvement in jitter suppression relative to the current state-of-the-art for space-qualified hardware. These objectives are achievable with this new generation of signal conditioning electronics. Blue Line proposes to bring this technology to Technology Readiness Level of 8 by the end of Phase II. The result will be a functional building block that may be used with several types of sensors including both differential and single-ended position sensors, a new class of rotary position sensors, and edge sensors for segmented mirror telescopes. These products in turn will directly enable both commercial and government applications for more advanced mechanisms such as beam steering mirrors for high precision lead ahead pointing, new gimbal designs, platform stabilization systems, large segmented relay mirrors, self-sensing linear actuators and a host of unforeseen new opto-mechanical systems. This technology could prove especially important to the success of Airborne Infrared (ABIR) and Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS).