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Novel Ultra-Miniature LIDAR Scanner for Launch Range Data Collection, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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Novel Ultra-Miniature LIDAR Scanner for Launch Range Data Collection, Phase I
LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology plays important roles in NASA's space missions. Specifically in KSC's launch vehicles operations, break-through in LIDAR technology could provide ability to economically measure incremental ballistic wind velocities along the predicted trajectory of launch vehicles at remote. The most critical component in a LIDRA is its laser scanner, which delivers laser pulse to target with desirable field of view (FOV). Most of existing LIDARs uses rotating or oscillating mirror for scanning, resulting in several drawbacks: • Large size of moving parts (mirrors and motors), limiting scanning speed to hundreds HZ; • Difficult to meet stringent requirements on size, weight, and power for space uses; • Difficult to control FOV of scanning motion; • Un-evenness of data point distribution due to inherent acceleration of scanning mirror; • Waste points at the swath borders of scanning mirror. In this SBIR, we propose a revolutionary LIDAR scanning technology that could eliminate these drawbacks and achieve very high scanning speed, with an ultra-miniature size, much lighter weight and much compact size. This novel technology promises at least a 10x performance improvement in these areas over existing LIDAR scanners. Innovations of the proposed ultra-miniature LIDAR scanner include: • Ultra miniature size of scanner: it is possible to make the entire scanner in <2 mm in diameter; • Very high scanning speed (e.g. 5~20 kHz, contrast to several hundred Hz in existing scanners); • Ideal structure to meet stringent requirements on size, weight, power, and compactness for various space applications; • The scanning speed and field of view (FOV) can be dynamically adjusted: suited for obtaining high image resolutions of targeted areas and for diversified uses. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.