NASA STTR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 T4.01-9939
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lidar, Radar and Passive Microwave
PROPOSAL TITLE: Structured nonlinear optical materials for LIDAR-based remote sensing

NAME: ADVR, Inc. NAME: Stanford University
STREET: 2310 University Way, Building 1 STREET: Office of Sponsored Research, 340 Panama St. MC 4100
CITY: Bozeman CITY: Stanford
STATE/ZIP: MT  59715 - 6504 STATE/ZIP: CA  94305 - 4100
PHONE: (406) 522-0388 PHONE: (650) 725-6864

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

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This NASA Phase II STTR effort will develop domain-engineered magnesium oxide doped lithium niobate (MgO:LN) for LIDAR-based remote sensing and communication applications. Use of bulk and waveguide-based domain engineered MgO:LN will allow the manufacture of highly efficient and compact, wavelength conversion modules for second-harmonic generation (SHG), sum-frequency generation (SFG), and parametric down conversion (PDC). In addition, these devices can be configured for broadband and high-gain optical parametric amplification (OPA) in the near-IR spectral region providing a path to the development of compact, single wavelength, spectroscopically useful laser sources as well as programmable optical comb (multi-wavelength) sources.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Domain engineered MgO:LN for efficient, high-power quasi-phase matched (QPM) frequency conversion will play a key role in many NASA systems. Complex domain engineered MgO:LN crystals are needed to improve the performance of laser sources being developed at NASA-GSFC for the ASCENDS mission and laser-based methane detection for use in future Earth and Planetary science missions. Multi-element integrated waveguide components in MgO:LN which include both QPM and phase modulation could improve the performance of iodine-based wavelength locking systems being considered for the ACE Mission. The integrated-waveguide based parametric amplifier is a key building block for a programmable, broadband near-IR comb, which may find use in precision spectroscopy, spectrometer calibration used for astrophysical measurements, as well as in systems used for remote sensing. QPM parametric amplification using MgO:LN may also prove useful for shifting communications signals in the 1550/1340 nm band farther in the IR to facilitate to Free-Space Optical Communications.
AdvR staff has visited and discussed with three different research groups in two NASA centers (GSRC and LaRC) whose specific application will benefit directly from the proposed frequency conversion technology. AdvR will maintain communications with these NASA groups during this Phase II 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)
The result of this STTR partnership with Stanford, will be the development of process steps required to fabricate high quality, domain engineered MgO:LN. As a consequence, AdvR expects to continue expanding its engineered materials product offering to high performance bulk and waveguide-based MgO:LN. Efficient high power, single pass QPM conversion has many non-NASA commercially significant uses. According to a study by Publications, Inc. (, the optical component market, which is currently forecast at $2.9 billion, is expected to reach $7.6 billion by 2012. While use of engineered materials represents only one portion of this market, they can enable significant performance improvements in existing technologies as well as enable a host of new technologies. Applications include gas sensing, precision spectroscopy, microwave photonics, frequency metrology, monitoring and optimization of combustion processes, multi-channel sources for fiber and free space communication systems, medical diagnostics such as spectroscopy-based disease diagnosis, research involved with quantum information and science and infrared countermeasures (IRCM).

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.)
Optical & Photonic Materials

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