NASA STTR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 T4.01-9937
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lidar, Radar and Coherent Fiber Budnle Arrays
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ridge Waveguide Structures in Magnesium-Doped Lithium Niobate

NAME: ADVR, Inc. NAME: Montana State University
STREET: 2310 University Way, Building 1 STREET: P.O. Box 172470, 309 Montana Hall
CITY: Bozeman CITY: Bozeman
STATE/ZIP: MT  59715 - 6504 STATE/ZIP: MT  59717 - 2470
PHONE: (406) 522-0388 PHONE: (406) 994-2381

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Will Suckow
2310 University Way, Building 1
Bozeman, MT 59715 - 6504
(406) 522-0388

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this NASA Phase I STTR effort, the feasibility of fabricating isolated ridge waveguides in 5% magnesium-doped lithium niobate (5% MgO:LN) will be established. Ridge waveguides in MgO:LN will significantly improve the power handling and conversion efficiency, increase photonic component integration, and be well suited to space based applications. The key innovation in this effort is to combine recently available large, high photorefractive damage threshold, z-cut 5% MgO:LN with novel ridge fabrication techniques to achieve high optical power, low cost, high volume manufacturing of frequency conversion structures. The proposed ridge waveguide structure should maintain the characteristics of the periodically poled bulk substrate, allowing for the efficient frequency conversion typical of waveguides and the high optical damage threshold and long lifetimes typical of the 5% doped bulk substrate. The low cost and large area of 5% MgO:LN wafers and the improved performance of the proposed ridge waveguide structure will enhance existing measurement capabilities as well as reduce the resources required to achieve high performance specifications. For these reasons, the development of ridge waveguides in 5% MgO:LN directly addresses NASA's Innovative Sensors, Detectors and Instruments for Science Applications, STTR subtopic T4.01: Lidar, Radar and Coherent Fiber Bundle Arrays.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Ridge waveguides will directly benefit a wide range of NASA laser-based missions including: efficient frequency doubling and tripling elements used for the Tropospheric Wind Lidar Technology Experiment (GSFC), next generation planar lightwave circuit components for the High Spectral Resolution cloud and aerosol Lidar system (LaRC), high optical power phase modulators used for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (GSFC) and integrated waveguide components for compact single photon source for use in satellite-based quantum communication (Quantum Information Laboratory-AMES). Ridge waveguides offer space qualifiable frequency converted lasers with the unique potential to achieve the desired performance specifications from a compact package. AdvR staff has discussed with three different research groups across two NASA centers (Goddard and Langley) whose specific application will benefit directly from the proposed technology. AdvR will maintain communications with these NASA groups to stay current with the present needs and remain flexible towards meeting specific application needs as technology progresses.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
AdvR has identified NLO ridge waveguide structures as having suitable value to be the leading frequency conversion structure. Its value is based on having the low cost fabrication necessary to satisfy the challenging pricing requirements as well as achieve the power handling and other specifications in a suitably compact package. Green lasers have major revenue potential in displays, projection, spectroscopy, and instrument markets. The display and projection market will be the primary product focus of AdvR. AdvR will also maintain a secondary focus on the lower volume spectroscopy and instrument markets, due to its allowable higher pricing. These two markets share the common need for green and other visible wavelength lasers particularly in the 50-100 mW range.

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

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