NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 H8.01-8809
SUBTOPIC TITLE: ISS Utilization and Microgravity Research
PROPOSAL TITLE: Industrial Crystallization Facility for Nonlinear Optical Materials

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Made in Space, Inc.
427 North Tatnall Street, #56666
Wilmington, DE 19801 - 2230
(209) 736-7768

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Snyder
82266 Philips Hwy Suite 102
Jacksonville, FL 32256 - 1240
(419) 271-0602

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Andrew Rush 8064548
427 North Tatnall Street, #56666
Wilmington, DE 19801 - 2230
(904) 806-4548

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
ISS Utilization and Microgravity Research is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) proposes the development, to a critical design level, of an Industrial Crystal Facility (ICF) for microgravity product manufacturing and applied research. The ICF is focused on advanced materials engineering, rather than biomedical research, and expands utilization of the ISS into new product areas not previously investigated. Intended applications include nonlinear optical single crystals and other relatively large material formulations, such as bulk single-crystal thin films and high temperature optical fiber. This is a critical next step in the development of Low Earth Orbit as an economic development zone. ICF uses the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab as a proving ground and utilizes the same value proposition as the forthcoming Made In Space Fiber (MIS Fiber) demonstration of manufacturing a product in space with economically-significant intrinsic value on the ground.

Semiorganic nonlinear optical (NLO) crystals generated from low temperature solution methods have only emerged in the past decade of academic research as an alternative to industry standards, such as lithium niobate, for improved performance and easier integration into opto-electronic devices. Lithium niobate single crystals must be manufactured by the Czochralski process, at temperatures in excess of 1260°C, which makes it energy-intensive to produce. Even with doping, lithium niobate products are typically limited to operate below 200°C or require active thermal control to limit photorefractive damage that distorts photon transmission. Microgravity production holds the potential for room-temperature production of NLO materials for high-energy applications with size and quality undiminished by the effects of sedimentation and convection. A new facility is needed to explore the feasibility of microgravity-enabled industrial crystals as a new product market for Low Earth Orbit.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the civil sector, including NASA, photonic device applications include laser range finding, photonic gyroscopes, spectroscopy, and optical communications. For example, the upcoming Laser Communications Relay Demonstration on the ISS, called ILLUMA, relies on a first-of-its-kind integrated photonics circuit to transmit and encode data at orders of magnitude higher rates than traditional digital systems. Future integrated photonics circuits can be lithographically printed on large single optical crystals, much as integrated microelectronic circuits are lithographically printed on semiconductor crystals today.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
CMOS image sensors go into new automotive-safety systems, medical equipment, video security and surveillance networks, human-recognition user interfaces, and other embedded image collection devices. The growth in laser transmitter demand is driven by ever-increasing Internet traffic, cloud services, and the expected dramatic leap in network load from billions of Internet of Things connections. This sub-market is particularly complimentary to the Made In Space program for ZBLAN optical fiber production. ZBLAN optical fiber manufactured in microgravity has both a lower attenuation rate and a wider transmission window than traditional silica fiber. While fiber produced on-orbit can be used to increase the efficiency of existing fiber networks, it can also support higher-output transmitters that utilize microgravity-grown nonlinear optical crystals to exceed the material limits of silica fiber.One high impact application that NLO crystals are ideally suited to is the efficient production of UV light by second harmonic generation (SHG). A high efficiency conversion could potentially take incoherent light and produce UV from a low energy source such as an LED. Several inorganic NLO materials have transparency in the UV range including BPO4, which has a lower range of 130 nm. This would be a game changing system for medical and industrial UV applications such as lithography and machining.Another important application is efficient measurement of terahertz wave sensors.

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.)
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Processing Methods
Waveguides/Optical Fiber (see also Optics)

Form Generated on 03-05-18 17:24