ITTC Project

Development of a Hybrid RF/Laser Radar

Project Award Date: 03-08-1999


In July 2001, NASA will launch ICESat. This satellite will provide data on ice sheet thickness in Greenland and Antarctica using the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). This system works like a radar, but uses a laser to make its altitude measurements. NASA already has a similar system orbiting Mars.

With this most recent NASA award, Chris Allen and Prasad Gogineni, from the Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Lab (RSL), seek to develop a new class of laser radar with distinct improvements compared to the GLAS system. Their system uses off-the-shelf, advanced fiber optic components and combines radio frequency (RF) pulse compression with digital signal processing to achieve elevation measurements with range accuracies comparable to the GLAS altimeter but at a rate ten times faster. In addition, the peak power of the laser used in their system is orders of magnitude less than those used in GLAS resulting in a significant increase in laser reliability.

"The early stages of the project already are showing good results," says Allen, who is RSL's director. He believes the project will offer many improvements over GLAS, such as reduced size, less power consumption, and sensor flexibility-which translate to greater efficiency and costs savings. This project represents the first of many that combine fiber optic technology with radar remote sensing systems.


Faculty Investigator(s): Christopher Allen (PI), Sivaprasad Gogineni (PI)

Student Investigator(s): Brandon Heavey

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): NASA

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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