NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- E1.02-8894 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023105 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Optical
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Power Pump Laser for Ozone Lidar

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)
Dr. Yelena Isyanova
135 South Road
Bedford , MA   01730 - 0000
(781 ) 275 - 9535

A high-priority goal in the NASA ESE Science Plan is to understand and predict the tropospheric distribution, chemistry and transport of ozone. Lidar measurements from low earth orbit can provide a global survey of tropospheric ozone and aerosol layers with high vertical resolution. These observations can be complemented by regional measurements with lidars on small aircraft at higher spatial and temporal resolution. This synergistic approach can determine the global chemical and radiative consequences of tropospheric ozone and aerosols. We propose to develop and demonstrate a key component of a laser transmitter that can meet the performance requirements of both systems. In contrast to solid state, diode-pumped, high-energy, low-pulse-rate transmitters that have been considered for ozone lidar systems, our innovative approach is to use a high-pulse-rate (1 kHz) source with similar average powers to low-pulse-rate systems, but greatly reduced energies per pulse. The resultant reduction in the number of diodes and the size of the beam-handling optics leads to a lower-cost, lighter weight system, advantages for both the satellite- and aircraft-based systems.

The proposed high-energy MPS technology would be an extension of our existing diode-pumped product line and would offer a step-up in power and energy from our existing products, into the 100-W range now served by more conventional lamp-pumped Nd:YAG lasers. A MPS Nd:YLF laser with 100 mJ/pulse energy, 1-kHz rate and high beam quality could provide a relatively low-cost solution for precision machining applications such as marking, cutting, welding and drilling, of interest to the electronics, automotive and medical-device industry. Q-Peak, as it is now doing with the MPS product line, would strive to establish OEM relationships with systems integrators who supply machining and processing tools to end customers.

The work proposed here has direct application to the development of aircraft and satellite-based ozone DIAL systems. The pump source would drive a nonlinear conversion system to generate UV wavelengths suited for ozone sensing from different platforms. Other NASA applications for the pump source would be in precision altimetry for earth and other planetary investigations. The source, combined with other nonlinear optics, could also serve as the DIAL transmitter for probing of other species than ozone. In particular, combined with optical parametric oscillators, the source we develop could provide broadly tunable infrared for sensing of a wide variety of molecular species.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10