Long-Range Maritime Atmospheric LIDAR
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-046
Topic Title: Long-Range Maritime Atmospheric LIDAR
Proposal No.: N131-046-0534
Firm: ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway
Suite #130
Littleton, Colorado 80127-4107
Contact: Thierry Carriere
Phone: (303) 792-5615
Web Site: www.adatech.com
Abstract: ADA Technologies is teaming with the Colorado School of Mines, Raytheon and Q-Peak to propose the development of a novel Maritime Atmospheric LIDAR (MAC-LIDAR) capable of providing critical atmospheric characterization information to support the effective operation of next generation laser weapons. The proposed system is based on laser light scattering to measure attenuation of a laser beam traveling long distances in the atmosphere and mostly bounded by seas or oceans. The system concept is similar to conventional LIDAR, but greatly simplified to make it compact and practical for use on war ships. The mast mounted system will illuminate the atmosphere surrounding a ship and produce 3-D images of atmospheric attenuation surrounding the ship. MAC-LIDAR constructs 3-D images of attenuation by combining data from time gated 2-D images of laser light scattered back to system with polarization filtering. Beam attenuation will be computed using a single wavelength laser source at 1064 nm. The Phase I activities will provide a proof-of-concept instrument as well as preliminary evaluation data in a laboratory environment in the Base period (range of up to 105 ft) and in a longer underground tunnel in the Option period (range up to 800 ft).
Benefits: The proposed MAC-LIDAR effectively determines the Laser Effectiveness Range by using a laser light of the same wavelength as military HEL's and will therefore experience the same proportional attenuation, optical turbulence and path refraction as the weapon's laser would, if fired at that instant. This is critical as research has shown that the complexity of the marine environment does not allow for adequate modeling of HEL propagation near the ocean surface. As a result, the MAC-LIDAR will provide the most relevant and up-to-date atmospheric information to Navy decision-makers so the effectiveness of a sea-based HEL can be predicted in real-time. Atmospheric characterization in support of HEL weapons is a DoD need for various platforms including Raytheon's LaWS, Northrop Grumman's MLD, Lockheed Martin's ADAM and Boeing's HEL MD. But actual field deployment of HEL weapons is several years away and their number is difficult to predict. It may be modest (in the hundreds over the next 10 years). Therefore the business case is risky if only limited to military customers. Our market research has identified at least one large opportunity that could immediately materialize and support a standalone business. EPA regulates emissions from stationary and mobile sources, including particulate matter (PM) in plumes. The most common method for characterizing particulate plumes is EPA Method 9. A LIDAR-based solution would have a strong chance to dominate such market and the market for Method 9 inspections is very large. Another potential commercial opportunity might be Runway Visibility Range (RVR). This market is currently served by long-path transmissometers. However it might be a more difficult market to penetrate compared to EPA Method 9 inspections, where state-of-the-art technology is human observation and new solutions are actively being sought.