NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Lidar Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Monolithic, High-Speed Fiber-Optic Switching Array for Lidar

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
2311 S. 7th Ave. Building #1
Bozeman ,MT 59715 - 6500
(406) 522 - 0388

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tony   Roberts
2311 S. 7th Ave., Building #1
Bozeman, MT  59715 -6500
(406) 522 - 0388

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This NASA SBIR Phase II effort will develop a 1 x 10 prototype non-mechanical fiber optic switch for use with high power lasers. The proposed optical device is a fiber-based multi-channel switch to rapidly switch a fiber-coupled laser among ten output channels as an integral part of a fiber-based fixed-array laser transmitter for next-generation NASA lidar systems. The key innovation is the use of an arrangement of electro-optic prisms in a nonlinear optical crystal created through domain reversal to direct the laser into one of many possible output fibers. This design will provide several important features that are required yet not currently available in a fiber switch in order to achieve a fiber-arrayed lidar source. These features include high optical power handling, reduced crosstalk, low optical loss, fast switching times, low power consumption, and robust construction in a monolithic package with no moving parts. A packaged device will undergo preliminary flight qualification testing and reliability analysis. The Phase II effort will deliver a compact, packaged 1x10 electro-optic fiber switch that meets specifications and is ready for testing in a NASA all-fiber lidar system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed switching array will enable the creation of a fiber-based fixed-array laser transmitter that, combined with a fiber-arrayed detector, can provide laser imaging with a shaped field of view for an enhanced lidar return signal and image resolution. The monolithic construction, low power consumption, and predicted high reliability will make the device suitable for airborne and space-based deployment. Furthermore, the core technology, EO beam deflection, is ideally suited for active Q-switching high power Nd:YAG lasers in NASA's lidar systems, and holds advantages over current Q-switching technology by eliminating necessary optics and requiring a lower operating voltage.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to its use as an electro-optic switching array for NASA lidar, the device will offer competitive advantages in the areas of optical remote sensing and environmental monitoring, military applications, and basic research. In addition to lidar applications, the proposed switching device will also be useful in applications requiring all-fiber switching and multiplexing using high power lasers. Outside of fiber switching, EO beam deflection offers opportunities in a host of areas including active Q-switching for high power pulsed lasers.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52