NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S3.08-9572
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Slow and Fast Light
PROPOSAL TITLE: Slow and Fast Light

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Torch Technologies, Incorporated
4035 Chris Drive
Huntsville, AL 35802 - 4192
(256) 319-6000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Brian Michael Robinson
brian.robinson@torchtechnologies.com
4035 Chris Dr.
Huntsville, AL 35802 - 4192
(256) 319-7546

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr Kenneth Wayne Lones
kenneth.lones@torchtechnologies.com
4035 Chris Drive
Huntsville, AL 35802 - 4192
(256) 319-6019

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Slow and Fast Light is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In response to the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program 2015 Phase I Solicitation S3.08: Slow and Fast Light, Torch Technologies in partnership with Ducommun Miltec proposes polarization-coupled fast-light optical gyroscope (FLOG) technologies to enhance the gyro sensitivity which would lead to an increase in the precision of inertial navigation systems resulting in greater spacecraft autonomy. The primary objective of this research is to develop the fast-light enhanced optical gyroscopes in a coupled cavity scheme to remove the necessity of using an atomic medium to produce the required anomalous dispersion. Producing fast light in a coupled cavity system is not a simple proposition, however, because it requires the stabilization of one cavity to the other due to the inherent presence of independent amounts of noise and drift in each optical cavity. In addition, no simple way to control the cavity scale factor exits in this scheme. Our proposed innovation is a new method of fast light cavity enhancement that implements mode coupling between orthogonally polarized modes in a single cavity as an alternative coupled cavity approach. The use of both polarization modes in the cavity result in common mode rejection of the noise and drift, resulting in a stable relative mode detuning and provides a simple control mechanism for the scale factor by rotation of the polarization, which is reproducible and stable. The results of this effort will contribute to development of gyroscopy technologies feasible for flexible path and deep space exploration to advance significantly current navigation systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology would increase the time for standalone fully-autonomous spacecraft navigation by improving attitude and position determination aligning with Space Systems Tier 3 Priorities: Technologies for Space Situational Awareness and Space Object Interactions, as well as Small Spacecraft and Enabling Technologies. These sensors can also be used for gravity-wave detection and tests of general relativity. NASA's needs for deep space missions would achieve substantial operational benefits from navigation systems that take advantage of the proposed fast light optical gyroscopes (FLOG) as a result of high-precision on-board autonomous navigation technology. FLOG addresses a critical needs for new technologies to meet challenges in NASA's Space Technology Roadmap Technology Area 05: Communications and Navigation Systems including minimization of mass, power and volume while increasing performance, avoiding navigation from becoming a constraint in planning and executing space missions, and eliminating Earth from the real time decision loop.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As generalized rotation sensors, ring gyros in general find application in a wide range of markets. They are used as motion sensing elements in platform stabilization systems. In both manned and unmanned aircraft system, they are critical components in the navigational systems. They find use in attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS) used in marine navigation. Potential customers in the navigation space include major players such as Honeywell, Draper, and Thales. Since the proposed design does not include any exotic optical components, such as an atomic vapor cell, it will readily lend itself to miniaturization, especially since the FLOG approach enhances the gyro sensitivity through a mechanism other than increasing the cavity size. With this added method for increasing gyrosensitivity, by about two orders of magnitude over the equivalent ring laser gyro, the possibility of detecting gradients in gravitational fields becomes possible. Besides enabling tests of general relativity, this capability could be used to detect subterranean geological features of interest in a number of industries.

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.)
Attitude Determination & Control
Inertial
Inertial (see also Sensors)
Navigation & Guidance
Optical
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37