NASA SBIR 00-1 SOLICITATION

FORM 9B - PROJECT SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 13.06-9558 (Chron: 000443 )
PROJECT TITLE
High-Power, Single-Frequency Laser Transmitter for Direct Detection Wind Sensing



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
NASA is actively pursuing the development of technologies that enable satellite-based laser wind sounding. Of particular interest are technologies that enable tropospheric wind profiling at low cost and high efficiency. Traditional laser-based wind sensors utilize coherent-mode detection, which depend on high aerosol concentrations to measure wind fields, and are therefore not suited for tropospheric wind profiling where the aerosol concentration is low. Direct-detection lidars do not suffer from this restriction because they can sense backscattered radiation from moving molecules as well as aerosols. A key component required for direct-detection lidars is a high-power, single-frequency, efficient, conduction-cooled UV laser transmitter. Lite Cycles proposes to develop a high-power (>30 W), efficient (>4% wall-plug), single-frequency (<50 MHz), UV (355-nm) laser transmitter that utilizes our unique conduction-cooled, diode-pumped gain module designs. The Phase I effort will produce a report containing a design trade study and conceptual design for a high-power laser transmitter, and the product of the Phase II effort will be an operational deliverable prototype laser.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Lite Cycles has identified three potential markets to pursue in the Phase III commercialization effort: (1) Global and local wind-sensing instrumentation, (2) laser machining and materials processing, (3) Rayleigh beacon sources for adaptive optics. Global wind-sensing instrumentation is required to measure the transport of atmospheric constituents and improve the prediction of weather. Local wind-sensing instrumentation is required to measure and predict clear air turbulence and air-borne toxin transport. Laser machining and materials processing is the single largest market for high-power, diode-pumped, solid-state lasers. The majority of laser machining and processing applications require laser sources with higher brightness and efficiency to compete with standard technologies. Ohter specialized applications like photolithography require more efficient and reliable high pulse energy, narrow-band, UV sources. The proposed conduction-cooled, diode-pumped laser system architecture constitutes a significant improvement over the current state-of-the-art laser systems. Very specific laser sources are used by the military and astronomy community to generate artificial beacons in the atmosphere to correct aberrations caused by refractive turbulence. The laser system we propose to build is ideally suited for use as a Rayleigh beacon source in these Adaptive Optics systems.



NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
James T. Murray
Lite Cycles, Inc.
2301 N. Forbes Blvd., Suite 111
Tucson , AZ   85745 - 1445



NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Lite Cycles, Inc.
2301 N. Forbes Blvd., Suite 111
Tucson , AZ   85745 - 1445