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Configurable, Multi-Beam, Doppler Ladar Based Precision Landing Sensor, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Fibertek proposes a configurable, multi-beam, 1.5 um Doppler Lidar sensor, enabled by high-speed non-mechanical beam steering (NMBS). NMBS uses state-of-the-art, high-speed liquid-crystal based components, to provide wide-angle (up to +/- 45 degree), large-aperture, optical beam steering, at speeds of up to 10 kHz. Furthermore, this is integrated into a very compact optical transmit/receive terminal, designed for coherent lidar operation. The proposed Doppler Lidar sensor is estimated to be 4X lower SWaP, and have 3X-5X improved range performance over the current design for entry, descent, landing (EDL) sensors under development at NASA. In addition, the configurable, high-speed, beam-scan pattern provides enhanced functionality for velocity/range/attitude estimate, and even for terrain mapping. The Doppler Lidar landing sensor model will be developed by our Research Institution partner, leveraging their related work on 3D-imaging ladar. The proposed effort targets a space-qualifiable roadmap, as we will leverage ongoing inter-disciplinary engineering development and qualification at Fibertek, for high-reliability, high-power, fiber laser transmitter and transmit/receive optical terminal for deep-space mission. More »

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