NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 13.03-2000C

PROJECT TITLE: Elevated Operational Temperature, Passively-Cooled Laser Diode Arrays for Spaceborne Sensors

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Laser diodes are critical to many lidar systems. They can be used by themselves or to pump solid state lasers to achieve higher pulse energies. However, conventional laser diodes are less efficient and less reliable when operated above room temperature. Moreover, diode chillers have unacceptable mass and power burdens for flight instruments. To address these issues, CTI and Polaroid have fabricated and tested innovative pilot-design emitters operating at >70C for more that 109 shots. In Phase I/II the emitter results will be extended to spatially dense arrays (.1.3 J/cm2) that are optimized for passive conduction cooling, require little temperature regulation, operate >60C at 780-795 nm, and produce >1 ms pulses with duty cycles >0.02. The technology is generalizable to other and wavelengths. To enhance the utility of these next-generation diodes, collaborate with the LaRC materials science group is anticipated to implement aerospace-class, ultra-light, high performance carbon composites into the laser diode mounts. In Phase II, high operational temperature laser diode arrays which are optimized for pumping solid state lasers will be coupled to an existing laser system. When the "hot" diode arrays are coupled to CTIs expertise in turn-key flight worthy lidar systems, a new generation of commercial lidar products will be facilitated.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

High-reliability coherent detection and direct detection lidar systems with lower cost, reduced weight and reduced size.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. Duane Smith
Research & Development
655 Aspen Ridge Drive
Lafayette , CO 80026

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Coherent Technologies, Inc.
655 Aspen Ridge Drive
Lafayette , CO 80026