NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Lidar System Components for Sapceborne and Airborne Platforms
PROPOSAL TITLE:Highly efficient, compact, wavelength converters for pulsed and cw laser sources used in lidar-based remote sensing and ranging systems.

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
2310 University Way, Building #1
Bozeman, MT 59715-6500
(406) 522-0388

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gregg   Switzer
2310 University Way, Building #1
Bozeman, MT  59715-6500
(406) 522-0388

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating waveguides in stoichiometric lithium tantalite (SLT) for highly efficient, quasi-phase matched (QPM) frequency conversion of continuous wave and high peak-power, quasi-continuous laser sources used in lidar-based remote sensing and ranging applications. The key innovation in this effort is the use of large diameter, optical quality, z-cut SLT, which has only recently become commercially available, as the waveguide substrate material. Relative to the standard congruently grown lithium tantalate wafers, stoichiometric lithium tantalate wafers have significantly higher optical damage thresholds, stronger nonlinear and electro-optic response, an expanded transparency window and significantly reduced poling field. Furthermore, because the stoichiometric materials are not lithium deficient, the fabricated waveguides are expected to be optically stable. During the Phase I effort the feasibility of fabricating waveguides in z-cut SLT wafers using annealed proton exchange will be determined, and the impact that variations in processing conditions have on the optical properties will be measured. In the Phase II effort, the waveguide fabrication and poling technology will be refined and grating structures suitable for specific NASA applications requiring wavelength conversion.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Because of the wide optical transparency range (270-5500nm) and large photo-refractive damage threshold of the SLT substrate (>1MW/cm2 @532nm) QPM frequency conversion in SLT waveguides will be useful in a wide range of NASA specific applications including use in Goddard's Tropospheric Wind Lidar Technology Experiment (TWiLiTE) as a component in a single seed laser it to be used both to seed the high power laser system and generate low power frequency tripled output for synchronous calibration and frequency locking of the Doppler receiver. Providing a link between transmitter seed wavelength and receiver filter will result in unequaled wind speed accuracy.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Doubling and tripling of a pulsed or cw 1064 nm diode laser source will result in compact efficient green (532 nm) and UV (355nm) sources with many commercial applications including a host of environmental monitoring applications including wildland fire assessment, bathymetry, weather and water quality assessment, as well as being used in highly effective blood coagulation tools, time-of-flight fluorescence spectroscopy systems, and sources for optical lithography. Other applications include periodically poled waveguides for quasi-phase matched down conversion for infrared generation for trace gas sensing and precision spectroscopy and interferometer-based positioning devices in advanced lithography systems.

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.


Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19