NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- E1.02-8892 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023107 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Optical
PROPOSAL TITLE: Quantum-Cascade-Laser-Seeded OPO for DIAL

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Q-Peak Inc
135 South Road
Bedford , MA   01730 - 0000
(781 ) 275 - 9535

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Glen Rines
135 South Road
Bedford , MA   01730 - 0000
(781 ) 275 - 9535

We propose an all-solid-state, laser-based source that covers the 2.5- to 14-?Ym band and is suitable for use in airborne and space-based differential absorption lidar (DIAL) systems. The proposed DIAL transmitter would enable high-resolution, high-accuracy remote sensing of atmospheric molecular species of interest to NASA including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide as well as many others. To date there have been no sources in this region suitable for NASA DIAL missions. The proposed source is comprised of a diode-laser-pumped, Q-switched, 2-?Ym laser, which pumps a middle-wave-infrared (MWIR) optical parametric oscillator (OPO), that is injection-seeded with a quantum cascade laser (QCL) to provide a narrow linewidth. The primary innovation is the use of recently developed distributed feedback (DFB) QCLs to injection-seed a MWIR OPO for the purpose of obtaining narrow linewidth, high-pulse-energy operation in a compact, simple configuration. A secondary innovation is the specific selection of other critical system components that make the overall system suitable for airborne and space-based instrumentation. These include the all-solid-state 2-?n?Ym pump laser and the MWIR OPO, which can be constructed with either zinc germanium phosphide (ZGP) or cadmium selenide (CdSe) depending on the wavelength coverage desired.

In addition to the NASA DIAL application there are a number of commercial and military applications for this technology. Commercial applications include pollution monitoring using the same DIAL technique and non-destructive analysis of composite materials in high-value structures such as aircraft. Military applications include IR countermearsures, 3-D imaging for target identification and ordinance guidance, multi-spectral imaging for surveillance and targeting.

The primary NASA application for the technology proposed is in airborne and space-based DIAL systems. As note in the Related R&D section, NASA has already applied QC lasers to point-sensing instrumentation with success. This technology would allow DIAL to be extended into the MWIR region of the spectrum, which allows a very broad range of molecular species to be studied via remote-sensing as opposed to point-sensing techniques. This opens up the possibility of profiling the atmosphere more thoroughly and with high accuracy.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10