Research & Development

GPS/INS Trajectory Refinement Employing Automatic Supervision and Tuning of Kalman Filters

In this program AS&T demonstrated the projected performance of the proprietary GPS Inertial Fuzzy Trajectory Expert Determination (GIFTED) system.

The accuracy of positioning data derived from mobile platforms for navigation, surveillance, reconnaissance, and target designation are only as accurate as the position and orientation measurements of the platform itself. While Kalman-filter based integration of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS) technology have revolutionized navigation, further refinements are necessary to allow improved tracking and designation. Presently, tuning and refinement of such Kalman filters and associated Rauch, Tung and Striebel (RTS) smoothers within packages such as the Multi-sensor Optimal Smoothing Estimation Software (MOSES) require manual intervention from trained analysts to optimize trajectory and orientation estimates. The need for a skilled operator is one of the primary bottlenecks in trajectory and orientation refinement. The proposed GIFTED system should enable to monitor the state of the estimation filter employed via a fuzzy logic module, which will generate discrete input states for a rules-based expert system. This will, in tum, select appropriate tuning and refinement actions.

Low Latency Infrared Positional Operating Projection (LOLIPOP) System

The development of Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for helicopters and fixed wing aircraft constitutes a major breakthrough in situational awareness. However, DAS accessibility is limited to the personnel with Head Mounted Displays and head tracking systems, leaving an aircrew in rear of helicopter range incapable of operating within this environment. AS&T’s Low Latency Infrared Positional Operating Projection (LOLIPOP) system provides a novel approach to a scalable, precise; large-area tracking that can perform in complex environments with large numbers of closely interacting entities.

Coherent Broadband Fiber-Array Laser

Compact, high power, 100 kW class plug-in efficient lasers are critical for various commercial and military applications. Combining of multiple laser channels through their coherent or incoherent coupling is considered as an effective solution to this problem. While incoherent coupling is now in the process of practical implementation stage, coherent combining of multiple laser channels have shown limited success. A new paradigm must be considered to meet the challenging requirements of perfecting compact and high-power effective laser systems with a high-quality output beam. AS&T is pursuing its original approach in coherent coupling of multiple broadband fiber channels inside an open cavity. Preliminary experimental data has demonstrated that such architecture allows automatic self-synchronization of the multiple channels. In lieu of funding from government or private sector AS&T is using internal funding to support the activity in this technical area.

Space-Based Integrated Multi-Sensor System for CSO Discrimination and Identification (SBIMSS for CSODI)

This program identifies the key system requirements for an integrated space-based multi-sensor space surveillance system capable of mission critical target-tracking, discrimination and identification (TDI) against closely spaced objects (CSO). In the proposed concept, a set of visible and IR sensors track CSOs and provide a prioritized location map for an active tracking module. The latter one can then be used to interrogate the CSO and retrieve information for discrimination and threat cloud detection (threat/non-threat). Multi-mode/modality data can be presented at various signal levels to simulate a typical engagement timeline. Combination of passive and active data streams will enable the system to operate at different surveillance conditions and can greatly enhance the signal-to-noise ratio for acquiring data. Critical elements of this program include designing and building a tests-bed that can be used for validating and augmenting the anticipated system performance, demonstrating and refining laboratory operation, and estimating the working envelope.

Vibration Imaging Sensor for Damage Assessment in Composites (VISDAC)

This program aims to develop a new class of laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) instrument for non-destructive inspection and structural heal monitoring of airframe structures that are susceptible to core-crush damage, disbonds and delaminations, for example in composite rotor blades. AS&T’s Conformal Imaging Vibrometer (CIV) is a non-contact laser vibrometry with acoustic excitation of the structure and uses the surface vibration signature as a means for locating and imaging hidden damage sites. CIV employs a conformal beam-array to capture full-field (2D) vibration data instantaneously. The 2D imaging format is thus able to image short duration transient surface vibrations, a unique capability which could further enhance the NDI applications for the sensor. The rapid data capture, combined with the flexible fiber-optic design architecture provides for the first time, a viable platform for field-based vibrometry for composite defect inspection.