SBIR Success Stories Feature:

ASRC Research and Technology Solutions, Charles River Analytics, Data Fusion & Neural Networks, NewCyte, and QuinStar

With current technology, the risk to public safety from hazards associated with flights of Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is mitigated by the use of ground-commanded flight termination systems. ASRC Research and Technology Solutions, LLC, located in Greenbelt, Maryland, developed and tested a flight-ready Space-based Autonomous Flight Termination and Telemetry System (SAFTTS) prototype. SAFTTS uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS) for tracking, along with onboard, configurable intelligent software for autonomous flight termination capabilities. The SAFTTS technology will improve Air Force launch operations by reducing the need for tracking and communications sites, thereby decreasing nonrecurring and recurring costs, supporting Responsive Space (RS) activities by reducing turnaround times and supporting simultaneous launches, and making it easier to expand the number of geographic locations suitable for space launches. The AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate manages this SBIR project.

The Air Force has a requirement to improve the dynamic targeting process of emerging, high-payoff, short dwell, or highly mobile time sensitive targets (TSTs). Charles River Analytics, Inc., located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, developed the Preemptive Actions with Dynamic Anticipatory Targeting (PREDATAR) system to provide probabilistic identification of potential TSTs well in advance of their positive identification via the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) process. PREDATAR was demonstrated as an extension to the Global Command and Control System – Integrated Imagery and Intelligence (GCCS-I3) in the Air Force Air Operations Center. This novel approach to automated multi-source intelligence analysis using ontological reasoning has many potential applications in both the military and commercial arenas. This SBIR project is managed by the AFRL Information Directorate.

The Air Force needs to automatically integrate numerous complex sources of Space Situation Awareness (SSA) data to provide a consistent, collaborative, and timely representation of the space situation. Data Fusion & Neural Networks, located in Broomfield, Colorado, has delivered three software based technologies relating to abnormal satellite state of health detection and cause characterization, abnormality and threat event tracking, and abnormal space catalog update detection. Since the software is data driven, it is affordably applicable to detection, tracking, and characterization of any monitored system to include cyber attacks, vehicles, ships, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and factories. The software is designed to support multiple joint-service and defense initiatives. The AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate manages this SBIR project.

The Air Force needs higher efficiency solar cells to reduce solar array mass, stowed volume, and cost for its space missions. NewCyte, Inc., located in Oberlin, Ohio, has improved both the beginning of life (BOL) and end of life (EOL) performance of the gallium arsenide (GaAs) middle cell, which is the weak link in terms of BOL efficiency and radiation resistance. NewCyte has been able to determine the number of layers of indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) quantum dots, their size, and the location of the aggregate of layers within the base region of the cell that optimize both efficiency and radiation damage resistance. A gain of 15% in output power can be expected at the end of a typical 15-year geostationary orbit (GEO) mission with essentially little or no increase in cell cost and no change at all in array design or mechanical performance. This SBIR project is managed by the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate.

Compact high power, high efficiency amplifiers are needed in the E-Band (71-76 GHz) and (81-86 GHz) region for high speed 1-10 Gbps point-to-point data links for airborne, ground, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and satellite applications. QuinStar Technology, Inc., located in Torrance, California, made multiple demonstrated advances in technology applications (e.g., 8-way and 16-way E-band radial line combiners, 10W E-band SSPA with radial combiner, 45W E-band solid state power amplifier design). The compact, high efficiency combiner and solid state power amplifier will enable the development of E-band high data rate (1-10 Gbps) data transmission systems for large numbers of communication channels (i.e., aircraft, UAV, and satellite). The AFRL Sensors Directorate manages this SBIR project.

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