NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 T4.01-9860
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Earth Science Sensors and Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE: Wavelength Drift Corrector for Wind Lidar Receivers

NAME: Sigma Space Corporation NAME: University of Maryland Baltimore County
STREET: 4801 Forbes Blvd. STREET: 1000 Hilltop Circle
CITY: Lanham CITY: Baltimore
STATE/ZIP: MD  20706 - 4303 STATE/ZIP: MD  21250 - 0002
PHONE: (301) 552-6300 PHONE: (410) 455-3140

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Donald M Cornwell
4801 Forbes Blvd.
Lanham, MD 20706 - 4303
(301) 552-6300

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose a key innovation to improve wavelength-sensitive lidar measurements (such as wind velocity) using photon-counting receivers. A novel binning technique to track the wavelength shifts of the outgoing laser pulses on a per-shot basis before accumulation in the receiver electronics is described. This allows creation of a narrow histogram in the backscattered signal accumulation process while using less expensive, less stable lasers than are traditionally required. This technique relaxes the stringent stability requirements on the laser, and therefore its size, weight, complexity, and cost. We propose to demonstrate the technique in existing lidars more compact and suitable for airborne platforms in terms of size, weight and power requirements of the system. We utilize recent solid-state laser and high-speed signal processing technologies in the wavelength tracking system. The direct application of the wavelength corrector is in a direct detection Doppler wind lidar. This innovation will significantly reduce the cost of wind lidar systems permitting their installation at airports to look for dangerous wind shears as well as for weather forecasting. Also, this innovation will significantly reduce the cost of a space-based Doppler wind lidar system because of the relaxed laser stability requirements.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The key cost driver in a wavelength-sensitive lidar measurement such as wind or DIAL is that of a stable, seeded laser source. The wavelength correction system is an enabling technology to reduce lidar system costs significantly by relaxing the laser stability requirements, thereby making a lidar system more amenable for large scale production and field deployment. It also provides a path to space-deployable systems by reducing laser complexity in terms of seeder stabilization systems and algorithms. NASA commercial applications include both spaceborne and airborne wind lidars, such as those being developed to fly on UAVs and manned NASA aircraft in support of NOAA hurricane tracking and research.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are numerous research groups developing lidars to meet the needs of federal agencies such as NASA, NOAA, EPA and DoD, for both meteorological and surveillance type applications. Sigma's lidar experience spans almost all types of lidar development to provide solutions such as the wavelength correction system. The most immediate application is the wind lidar. We intend to integrate the wavelength tracking system into a fully engineered wind lidar system. The commercial opportunity lies in metropolitan governments investing in setting up a network of such lidars for atmospheric monitoring, improved weather forecasting, and better understanding of meteorological processes. Providing this type of lidar network for airports to generate wind profiles in real-time for aviation safety is another commercial potential for the proposed system. Wind lidars can also be used to map the best locations for placing wind turbines for generating electricity.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Biomolecular Sensors
Pilot Support Systems
Renewable Energy
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:52