NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.01-8747
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lidar System Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Tunable Seed Lasers for Laser Remote Sensing of CO2 and O2

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
VESCENT PHOTONICS, INC.
4865 E. 41st Ave
Denver, CO 80216 - 4401
(303) 296-6766

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mike H Anderson
anderson@vescentphotonics.com
4865 E. 41st Ave
Denver, CO 80216 - 4401
(303) 296-6766

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Vescent Photonics propose to develop a chip-sized narrow linewidth (< 50 kHz), widely tunable (> 10 nm's) diode laser that will be suitable for a wide variety of NASA remote sensing missions. The proposed laser platform enables easy selection of the laser center wavelength; these lasers can be easily built for any wavelength that a diode laser gain chip exists (< 670 nm to > 2.5 microns). Since spectral features of important molecular species cover a large wavelength window this center-wavelength flexibility is advantageous. This effort will focus on lasers operating in the 1.57 and 2.0 micron CO2 band, and the 1.26 micron O2 band, such as is required for ASCENDS-type missions. Rapid wide wavelength tunability will enable scans over large portions of spectral bands, which can minimize the impact of contaminant and thermal effects on total column density measurement. These lasers will provide for very fast phase (up to 10 GHz) modulation and be built with space qualifiable components. Collaborative relationships with established aerospace companies will be exploited to facilitate insertion of this technology into NASA missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The goal of this development is to produce seed lasers that are required for future NASA remote sensing missions. For example, low-cost robust seed lasers at a wide variety of wavelengths will be needed for missions such as ASCENDS which will provide high spatial and temporal global carbon budget maps. ASCENDS will identify global CO2 sources and sinks, such as will be required for effective carbon trading policies, and detailed input for new global climate models. These lasers also find utility in laser mapping of atmospheric pressure, detection and quantification of numerous other molecular species (e.g., methane, ozone, water, etc..), which can be useful for both terrestrial, remote planetary and other extra-terrestrial missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A truly compact and low-cost tunable laser will create new commercial opportunities. Currently, reliable tunable lasers either don't exist or are cost prohibitive thus impeding commercial applications. Low-cost tunable laser systems can be used for trace-gas spectrometry in medicine, distributed fiber sensing in oil wells, environmental monitoring, and industrial process control. We are collaborating with a global leader in safety equipment that is in need of these lasers for remote explosive detection. Furthermore, tunable lasers are important for test and measurement of optical components in the telecommunications industry.

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
Attitude Determination and Control
Biochemical
Biomolecular Sensors
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Optical
Perception/Sensing


Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56