NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 S1.01-9879
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lidar and Laser System Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Frequency Up-Conversion Detection System with Single Photon Sensitivity within 1-1.8 ¿m and 3-4 ¿m for ASCENDS Mission: A Novel Approach to Lidar

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
3210 N. Bay Hill Drive
Center Valley, PA 18034 - 8452
(484) 547-5375

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Yuliya B. Zotova
3210 N. Bay Hill Drive
Center Valley, PA 18034 - 8452
(484) 547-5375

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
PI at ArkLight proposes to implement photon counting detectors at near-IR (1-1.8 microns) and mid-IR (3-4 microns) with single photon sensitivity based on frequency up-conversion during Phase 2, representing an innovative Lidar technology for ASCENDS mission. By working with Prof. Ding at Lehigh University, PI will explore fundamental limits to quantum efficiencies for up-conversion detection at 1.57 microns. She will implement, characterize, and optimize single up-conversion device capable of detecting 1.57 microns and 1.27 microns. She plans to achieve detections of CO2 and O2 using implemented up-conversion device. She will investigate fundamental limits to noises for up-conversion detections. She will compare among PPLN, PPKTP, and PPLT as up-conversion media. She will expand detection wavelengths to cover ranges of 1-1.8 microns and 3-4 microns. She plans to introduce novel techniques for improving performances of up-conversion devices. She will investigate versatility of up-conversion devices under harsh environments. To achieve all these objectives, she has laid out a detailed work plan describing all the specific tasks necessary. Through optimizations, she will achieve the quantum efficiency of 50%, dark count rate of 50 Hz, bandwidth of GHz, electrical consumption of < 1 W, weight of < 1 lb, and dimension of 7x4x4 (all in inches).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The photon counting detectors implemented by PI during Phase 2 will meet the requirement of NASA as being defined by the NASA SBIR solicitation of TOPIC: S1 Sensors, Detectors, and Instruments. Specifically, these detectors will be used to achieve single photon sensitivity in the wavelength ranges of near-IR (1-1.8 microns) and mid-IR (3-4 microns). In comparison, InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiodes are incapable of reaching single photon sensitivity within the two spectral ranges. 3-D imaging systems by combining the photon counting detectors and a laser can be used to realize coherent imaging LIDAR for the ASCENDS, DESDynI, LISA, Doppler Wind Lidar, and LIST mission programs. Such 3-D imaging can be achieved by both a staring single-element photon counting detector and an array of these detectors. The energy sources of nine infrared luminous galaxies can be diagnosed by a ground-based 3-4 µm spectrometer to be developed by PI based on the photon-counting detectors.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The photon counting detectors can be used in Missile countermeasure with significantly improved sensitivity and reliability. A spectrometer based on these detectors can be used for making spectroscopic studies of molecules in the range of 1-11 microns. It can be also used to detect trace amounts of the molecular species for the applications in chemical sensing and detections of biological and chemical agents. It can be used as a tool for biomedical diagnostics for important applications such as glucose detection. The new LIDAR system to be developed by PI by combining the photon counting detectors and a laser has important applications in archaeology, meteorology and atmospheric environment, wind power, geology, physics and astronomy, biology and conservation, military and law enforcement, vehicles, imaging, and 3-D mapping. Since it can reach single photon sensitivity around 1550 nm, it is not only eye-safe but also important for military applications in night vision goggles.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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
Attitude Determination and Control
Biomolecular Sensors
Large Antennas and Telescopes
Optical & Photonic Materials
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29