NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 S1.01-9116
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Particles and Fields Measurements
PROPOSAL TITLE: Gradiometer based on Nonlinear Magneto-Optic Rotation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Southwest Sciences Inc
1570 Pacheco St Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505-3993
(505)984-1322

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Christian Hovde
dchovde@swsciences.com
Southwest Sciences, Inc., 6837 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45244-3470
(513)272-1323

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This Phase I SBIR project will demonstrate sensitive measurements of magnetic field gradients by nonlinear atomic spectroscopy. The gradients are determined by measuring the magnitudes of the magnetic fields in two atomic vapor cells. A vertical cavity surface emitting laser is used to create an atomic coherence. This coherent state is long lived because of the special construction of the atomic vapor cell. A measurement of the Larmor precession frequency of the coherent state gives a precise measurement of the magnetic field. The field measurement precision should be 0.3 fT in a 1 Hz bandwidth. Two such probes can be tethered at the ends of 80 m cables from a rotating space craft. Typical geophysical gradients of ~ 250 fT can be measured from a single spacecraft with excellent signal/noise. The system uses no cryogenic fluids, no consumable chemicals, and will operate from a few Watts of electrical power.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
NASA applications include measurements of fields and field gradients in the magnetosphere from space, measurements of lunar and planetary fields, and more sensitive measurements of magnetic storms from Earth's surface.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Precision magnetometry is used in oil and mineral exploration and hidden object detection at land and at sea. Applications include archeology and marine search and recovery. The extraordinary sensitivity of this approach opens up applications in advanced magnetic resonance imaging. Defense and homeland security applications include the detection of underwater or underground threats including submarines, camouflaged tanks, and mines.