NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 S2.01-9144
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Science Instruments for Conducting Solar System Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE:Long wave mid-infrared source for trace gas sensing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aculight Corporation
11805 North Creek Parkway S., Suite 113
Bothell ,WA 98011 - 8803
(425) 482 - 1100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Angus   Henderson
angus.henderson@aculight.com
11805 North Creek Parkway S., Suite 113
Bothell, WA  98011 -8803
(425) 482 - 1100

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Tunable laser spectrometers are used by NASA for investigations of planetary atmospheric constituent gases. The availability of widely tunable long-wavelength (3 to 12?Ym) lasers operating at room temperature would allow such spectrometers to a wider range of gas species detection sensitivity increased by orders-of-magnitude relative to near-infrared lasers currently used in these applications. Aculight proposes to demonstrate a novel mid-infrared laser technology capable of room temperature operation at any wavelength between 2 and 17?Ym. We will demonstrate, for the first time, continuous wave optical parametric oscillation in the new nonlinear material, orientation-patterned Gallium Arsenide (OP-GaAs) and show that it can be pumped by low cost, compact fiber-based sources developed for the telecommunications industry.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The key target applications for the laser technology to be developed are in gas sensing and spectroscopy. Future missions to Mars and other planets will carry applications to detect various atmospheric gases including biomarkers indicating the past or present existence of biological activity. Practical mid-infrared lasers will enable more sensitive detection of a wider range of gas species. Such lasers will also be applicable in earth science investigations of tropospheric and stratospheric constituents, in monitoring of air quality in spacecraft habitats and in lidar measurements of wind.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
A widely tunable long-wavelength laser source would open up the possibility for a wide range of new spectroscopic and sensor applications which are not possible using existing cryogenically-cooled mid-infrared laser technologies. It meets demand in the spectroscopic market which is currently met only in the near-infrared by external cavity diode lasers. A low-cost mid-infrared source could be applied to industrial process analysis applications such as trace water vapor measurement in semiconductor manufacture. Government agencies including the Department of Energy and Department of Defense would use such lasers for atmospheric chemistry studies, combustion diagnostics and infrared countermeasures.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Biomolecular Sensors
Optical
Optical & Photonic Materials


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12