ISL's Sensor Technology Operation (STO) was awarded two SBIR contracts by NAVAIR this year to develop E-field sensor technology for underwater sensing applications. ISL won Phase II awards for topic N091-019 (E-field and Acoustic Data Fusion) and topic N091-027 (Vertical E-field Sensing). Under these efforts, ISL will develop concepts and signal processing algorithms for a prototype 'A-size' buoy that collects both three axis E-field and acoustic sensor data. ISL plans to build and test prototype sensors as part of follow-on Phase II work. The additional sensor information provided by E-field sensors complements acoustic sensors and provides a way for false arm reduction and increased surveillance capability under adverse acoustic conditions in littoral waters. Jeff Ridgway, ISL program manager for the SBIRs, said "We have come along way from where we started to make these sensors small and compact. This technology provides the Navy with another means to detect quiet submarines in littoral waters."
ISL Technology Risk Management Operations conducted a three-day working session at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX from March 30 thru April 1 executing the first pilot application of Accident Precursor Analysis for the International Space Station. In partnership with ISS risk management, the working sessions evaluated Electrical Power Systems (EPS) onboard the orbiting outpost in an effort to further improve ISS safety by analyzing occurrences of anomalies. The exercise involved the participation of the ISS Risk Office, Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) experts, ISS Flight Safety Office, ISS Electrical Power Systems Engineers, and the ISS Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA).
The Surveillance and Communications Research Operation of ISL has been awarded a continued development SBIR Phase II.5 contract, jointly funded by the US Navy and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to enhance the current ISL SBIR Precision Georegistration and Targeting Application (PGTA) development to automatically produce georegistered full motion video (FMV) in real-time. A wide variety of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) carrying various sensors are increasingly deployed on today’s battlefield for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. These UAV platforms provide a wealth of ISR data mainly captured with video sensors. These video sensors provide considerable amounts of data for exploitation, suitable for various types of assisted and autonomous processing including target recognition, tracking, contextual scene analysis, aimpoint generation, forensic analysis, and behavioral characterization. Generally the smaller UAVs do not have existing sensor models and sensor pointing direction may not be well known. These limitations make associating accurate position information with the FMV difficult using current techniques.
The ISL PGTA addresses the issues by providing computationally efficient and accurate georegistration of the FMV without the requirement for an associated sensor model. Georegistered FMV will have a three-dimensional geoposition coordinate (latitude, longitude, and elevation) associated with every pixel of the video as well as an estimate of the circular error (CE) and linear error (LE). The georegistered FMV application will provide for timely exploitation of the surveillance data for tactical strike planning and intelligence applications.
ISL conducted a two-day tutorial in Houston, TX on Feb 17 & 18 to train safety and mission assurance (S&MA) personnel in the application of accident precursor analysis (APA) in a bid to further improve Space Shuttle safety by garnering better insights from anomalies that occur during flight missions. The tutorial was attended by around 15 NASA civil servants and support contractors and included discussion of the fundamental methodologies, examples from pilot studies, team exercises that allowed participants to apply what they learned, and hands-on training using ISL's DAnGERS tool.
On January 25, 2010, the Manufacturing Solutions Operation (MSO) and the System Engineering and Integration Operation (SEIO) of ISL were assessed by two Intertek ISO auditors to the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9001:2008. The audit was very successful and no issues were noted. The ISO auditors found that the current Quality "management system is in conformity with the audit criteria." As such, the the MSO and SEIO Operations will be given a new ISO Certificate of Registration stating that both operations have a "quality management system that is registered as conforming to the requirements of ISO 9001:2008."
ISL provided safety and reliability analysis service in support of an agency-wide Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) Trade Study following the recent recommendations made by the "Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee" that NASA should focus its efforts on development of a heavy lift launch vehicle to facilitate future deep-space missions. ISL personnel analyzed several Space Shuttle-based Heavy Lift crew and cargo launch options as well as other design configurations rooted in heritage technologies from current U.S. launch systems. The findings provided insights into the viability of the different vehicle options, as well as general understanding about configurational differences that affect reliability and safety.
ISL's Manufacturing Solutions Operation has been awarded two contracts totaling $1.3 million from L-3 Communications to provide defense related mission critical electronic components for a military end user application.