Fibertek proposes to develop a high efficiency, ultra-compact master oscillator/power amplifier (UCMOPA) for use in the next generation of space-based cloud and aerosol lidar systems. The Phase I goal is a laser optics module design that is < 1/7 the volume and weight and is 75% more efficient than the original CALIPSO laser transmitter. This increased efficiency reduces the power required for the same outputs as CALIPSO by 40%. For both systems there is a separate electronics module. We anticipate a similar reduction in the size of the electronics module in Phase II, but that will not be part of the Phase I studies. The proposed system would support a backscatter lidar system, one the four primary instrument types identified as relevant to the S1.01 Lidar and Remote Sensing topic in the 2019 Phase I SBIR call. A summary of key features that will be incorporated into the proposed laser module are given below.
The high-efficiency, ultra-compact MOPA we are proposing to design and build will reduce the size and weight of a space-qualifiable laser that can be used in multiple space-based and airborne lidar systems including the following:
There is significant commercial interest in the high-efficiency, compact laser being proposed.
1. As the transmitter for the next generation Ball Aerospace Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar system.
2. As the transmitter for small satellite measurements of surface and atmospheric conditions for the DoD in a Navy National Oceanographic Partnership Program we are supporting.