NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: E1.01-8538 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013461 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
A pixelated Liquid Crystal etalon with application to spectral imaging

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This initiative designs and fabricates an etched multiple-element liquid crystal Fabry-Perot that behaves as several independent liquid crystal Fabry-Perot etalons simultaneously. This is a robust, solid state device which will be the core component for two twin-etalon system delivered in Phase II. The first system is a 100-channel ultra-high spectral resolution filter operating at 1064 nm as a lidar receiver that uses the double-edge technique to make Doppler wind measurements. The second is a 100-channel visible broad band electrically-tunable spectral imager operating from 400 to 700 nm. The twin-etalon systems to be supplied in Phase II are contingent upon the successful design and fabrication in Phase I of a single, 4-channel high spectral resolution liquid crystal etalon with 5 cm gap spacing and upon fabrication of a 1064 nm reflective dielectric coating. This project innovates by partitioning through etching the transparent conductive layer used to control the index of refraction of the liquid crystal to create multiple etalons that can each be independently tuned onto a single substrate. The resulting filter features electronic tunability, simultaneous frequency sampling capability, vibration and radiation insensitivity, high throughput, and light weight design that are unmatched by any other current technology in a single unit.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
An LC etalon is a single, lightweight unit, nearly impervious to vibration or shock. As such it is an ideal component for chemical imaging or spectroscopy systems for use in space or other hostile environments. In addition, the ability to create multiple etalons from one substrate and the fact that tuning is accomplished with very little power (less than 200 mA at 12 V) and no moving parts makes this filter system well adapted to NASA requirements for smaller, lighter systems for on-orbit, airborne, or sub-orbital platforms. The proposed tunable filters are ideally suited to narrow band isolation required in LIDAR and general laser applications. Beyond that, numerous commercial concerns express interest in simultaneous multiple?frequency sampling tunable filtering. One ideally suited application is that of optical telecommunication that desire simultaneous sampling of many channels. Environmental and related applications can also benefit from the ability to remotely identify chemical cloud composition and to precisely determine location and abundance of toxic chemicals. Both the textile and paper industries have communicated interest in robust, easily tunable filters for the purpose of monitoring product uniformity.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Yan Betremieux
Scientific Solutions Inc.
55 Middlesex Street
Chelmsford , MA   01863 - 1561

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Scientific Solutions Inc.
55 Middlesex Street
Chelmsford , MA   01863 - 1561


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44