NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.04-8873
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter
PROPOSAL TITLE: The Development of Polarimetric and Nonpolarimetric Multiwavelength Focal Plane Arrays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Phoebus Optoelectronics LLC
760 Parkside Ave, Room 313
Brooklyn, NY 11226 - 1508
(718) 484-7033

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thomas James
760 Parkside Ave, Room 313
Brooklyn, NY 11226 - 1508
(718) 484-7033

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
High-performance polarimetric and nonpolarimetric sensing is crucial to upcoming NASA missions, including ACE and CLARREO and the multi-agency VIIRS NPP project. The objective of the proposed project is to use plasmonic/photonic hybrid crystals to develop multiwavelength polarimetric focal plane arrays (FPAs) that exceed performance requirements for ACE and CLARREO, while reducing costs through component integration. Plasmonic/photonic hybrid crystal films are an enabling technology and can be used to develop high spectral resolution, low crosstalk components for other NASA missions, such as GEO-CAPE, as well as transparent metal contacts for high-efficiency sensors and solar cells, Additionally, hybrid crystals eliminate several problems, such as diffraction, light scattering, moving parts, and the need to dice/bond components. This project will use recent discoveries in Plasmonic and Photonic Crystals research that allow for polarimetric control of the flow and super focusing/beaming of light, concepts that have been analytically and experimentally verified. The polarimetric control of the flow of light allows the development of devices that separate polarization components of an incident beam and detect the separate components in the same or different pixels of a FPA. The hybrid crystals can play several roles, including polarization splitter/filters, antireflection coatings, superfocusing elements and electrical contacts.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed project will lead directly to commercialization of polarimetric sensors ideally suited to NASA's upcoming ACE and CLARREO missions and VIIRS NPP project. Through knowledge gained about theoretical modeling and fabrication methodologies, the project may also lead to other photonic devices of use to NASA. For example, the light-concentrating abilities of Phoebus's recently designed plasmonic Fresnel zone plates are well-suited to creation of pixel-sized microlenses, to be fabricated atop IR focal plane arrays. Such devices improve sensitivity of space-based imaging and remote sensing systems by enabling smaller, lower-noise detector elements without loss of light-gathering power while simultaneously reducing system mass. Fabry-Perot interferometers are currently used as narrowband wavelength filters for select remote sensing and astronomy applications. By tapping into very narrow bandwidth light-circulating modes, Phoebus's could also improve on current devices by providing even narrower bandwidths with a simpler, lighter and lower-cost device.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Phoebus's plasmonic/photonic hybrid crystals are an enabling technology with a variety of potential applications spanning multiple device types and industries. With relatively minor adjustments to their dimensions, geometries and material composition, Phoebus's hybrid crystals can elicit extremely diverse light-management phenomena, ranging from wavelength filtering, polarization filtering and polarization beam splitting to light localization, focusing, circulation, weaving and trapping. Phoebus has developed a disciplined device development pipeline, which includes i) polarimetric infrared sensors for improvised explosive device (IED) detection, ii) high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells, iii) chemical/biological photonic sensors and iv) all-optical memory arrays. The total combined annual value of the targeted markets exceeds $10 billion. Phoebus is adopting an intellectual property (IP) licensing business model in which it will develop devices to their prototype stage prior to licensing the technology to device manufacturers. We have already established relationships with leading infrared sensor manufacturers and have begun preliminary collaborations around the commercialization of our polarimetric sensors for military imaging. Our collaborators estimate that our device designs will lead to at least 50x performance improvements, while simultaneously and dramatically reducing prices through component integration.

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.

Optical & Photonic Materials
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56