NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-E1.01-8745 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034260)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Passive Optics
PROPOSAL TITLE:Electro-Optic Imaging Fourier Transform Spectral Polarimeter

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Boulder Nonlinear Systems Inc
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette ,CO 80026 - 2786
(303) 604 - 0077

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Xiaowei   Xia
xia@bnonlinear.com
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette ,CO  80026 -2786
(303) 604 - 0077
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc. (BNS) proposes to develop an Electro-Optic Imaging Fourier Transform Spectral Polarimeter (E-O IFTSP). The polarimetric system is based on BNS? patented FTS technology, where ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) polarization switches control device operation. The designed system has simple drive/calibration requirement, and the capability to acquire complete Stokes polarization information simultaneously with the spectral imaging information. This information is collected using short data acquisition times due to the fast electro-optic tuning (sub-millisecond response for FLC switches) and the high optical throughput of the spectrometer. The spectral region of interest is the 0.5 ? 1.5 micrometers to allow high-resolution, high-speed measurement of a large number of different atmospheric aerosols. Our approach uses non-moving parts in a compact geometry, which is expected to produce a simple and reliable system needed for critical NASA missions. The compact, low-mass E-O IFTSP will be particularly suitable for use on small aircraft platforms to advance capability in the spectral imaging polarimetry of aerosols and clouds in Earth?s atmosphere, and for integrating into Earth orbiting satellites for long-duration monitoring of atmospheric trace gases.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The compact and low-mass E-O IFTSP system is particularly suitable for use on small aircraft platforms to advance capability in the spectral imaging polarimetry of aerosols and clouds in Earth?s atmosphere. It can be integrated into Earth orbiting satellites for long-duration monitoring of atmospheric trace gases (Atmospheric Chemistry), CO2 Column Abundance and Profile (Global Carbon Cycle), and Topography and Surface Change (Solid Earth Science). It has also potential NASA applications in Lidar remote sensing, environmental monitoring, and chemical effluent detection. Its random access analog tunability makes it appropriate for derivative spectroscopy and for dedicated sensing applications, such as differential absorption.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
There is considerable interest in spectral polarimetric techniques that improve the capability of imaging systems where the information is difficult to recognize because of background clutter. This is especially true in the medical industry (e.g. analyzing tissue samples), but is also relevant for many industrial processes. Remote sensing with spectral polarization has potential applications in the commercial market as well, particularly in improved environmental assessment. The proposed technique has a large non-NASA commercial potential because the technology is very flexible (adaptable to a variety of applications) and is light efficient.