NASA SBIR 00-II Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 13.06-9558 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 000443 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Power, Single-Frequency UV Laser Transmitter

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 depends 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. Recent advances in direct-detection lidar techniques for wind sensing may enable space-borne, wind-sensing instruments. A key component required for the success of these missions is a high-power, single-frequency, efficient, conduction-cooled, UV laser transmitter. Lite Cycles, Inc. has developed a state-of-the-art, all-solid-state, scalable, conduction-cooled, diode-pumped slab laser technology that addresses these needs. The conclusions of the Phase-I effort show the feasibility of a design for a high-power (>30 W), efficient, single-frequency (< 5 MHz), UV (355-nm) laser transmitter. This design will be further refined in Phase-II, and a laser transmitter will be built and delivered to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for integration into an airborne lidar system.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Lite Cycles intends to commercialize this technology, both within the DoD and in the private sector. Three significant markets have been identified: Clear-air turbulence (CAT); Laser machining and materials processing; and Rayleigh and sodium beacon sources for adaptive optics. The CAT requirement is a result of passenger and crew injuries on commercial flights when encountering CAT during a flight. Airlines are interested in an affordable solution to early warning instruments that will allow either flight course changes or a seat belt buckle advisory for passengers. Incoherent Doppler lidar is less complex than coherent systems and will be more robust, compact, and less expensive. CAT instruments could potentially be installed on most commercial aircraft worldwide. Laser machining and materials processing is the single largest market for high-power, diode-pumped, solid-state lasers. The conduction-cooled, diode-pumped laser architecture under development at LCI constitutes a significant improvement over the current state-of-the-art systems in power scaling, beam quality, average power, pulse energy, and system efficiency. Currently, Adaptive Optics (AO) systems are being installed on nearly all 8-meter class telescopes and Laser Guide Star (LGS) systems are being incorporated to compensate for the lack of bright starts near the science object being studied. The estimated market potential for LGS systems is greater than $100 million over the next five to ten years.

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


Form Printed on 11-26-01 17:18