Circle Optics Awarded NASA SBIR Phase II to Enhance Wide Range Imaging Capability with UAV and Drone Technology

Jun 15, 2023 | Company News | 0 comments

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Summary

Rochester, New York, June 9: Circle Optics, innovators with patented technology enabling real-time, high-resolution multi-camera systems that provide panoramic video without the distortion and errors inherent in other systems, has been awarded a $850,000 NASA Phase II SBIR contract to continue work on “Enhance Detect and Avoid Optical Sensing for Urban Air Mobility.”

Rochester, New York, June 9: Circle Optics, innovators with patented technology enabling real-time, high-resolution multi-camera systems that provide panoramic video without the distortion and errors inherent in other systems, has been awarded a $850,000 NASA Phase II SBIR contract to continue work on “Enhance Detect and Avoid Optical Sensing for Urban Air Mobility.” 

NASA is delivering data to guide the industries development of electric air taxis and drones to assist the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in safely integrating these vehicles into the national airspace. The future of urban air mobility includes safe autonomous flying cars. They are safe because they can meet the minimum detect and avoid requirements determined by the FAA, which have to date been unreachable through digital imaging means.  

During this Phase II project, Circle Optics will enable this future by furthering the development of a wide angle staring EO/IR optical system. The goal of this system is that it will remove the temporal inefficiencies and noise of the conventional gimballed systems. Circle Optics will focus on advancing the optical and mechanical system development, while also further exploring the requirements for testing and integration of our optical system into electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. 

What distinguishes our technology versus others in the market is the enhanced range over a wider field of view. The best products in the market with panoramic vision now see about a mile out. With this product, we are more than tripling that, hitting the FAA’s minimum requirements of 3.4 nautical miles detection range for eVTOL’s, comments Circle Optics Founder and CEO Zak Niazi. 

Many industry experts anticipate that radar cannot meet this demand eVTOL aircraft due to its bulky size and interference effects. Additionally autonomous air travel will require multiple sensing modalities, including optical imaging, to collaboratively enable air safety. NASA contracted with Circle Optics in 2021 and 2022 to develop initial designs for EO/IR sensors with both an ultrawide field-of-view and ultrahigh resolution, to meet the FAA’s requirements of detecting uncooperative air traffic 3.4 nautical miles out within a 270 x 30-degree field of regard. 

For more information, please visit Circle Optics at https://circleoptics.com   

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About Circle Optics 

Founded in 2017, Circle Optics has developed patented technology enabling the ability to capture the entire world in a stitch-less, instant 360-degree imaging. This unique capability is revolutionizing aerospace, unmanned flight, and enhancing immersive experiences globally. We are just beginning to learn the applications of this new technology and are eager to learn how the wider field of view will enhance other technologies.  

Media Contact 

Jennifer Sertl 

Director of Marketing, Circle Optics 

Jennifer@circleoptics.com 

(585) 704-5202  

Post Tags: Innovation, NASA, SBIR

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