NASA SBIR 01-II Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: E1.02-8929 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013070 )
PHASE-I CONTRACT: NAS1-02010
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Liquid Crystal on Silicon Optical Phased Arrays

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Non-mechanical beamsteering eliminates the need for massive optomechanical components to steer the field of view of optical systems. This benefit is to come in the form of compact, low-power, light-weight optical phased arrays that provide better control with greater flexibility in their steering capability than their mechanical counterparts. Currently, high-speed, high-resolution, fully-programmable non-mechanical beamsteerers with good optical efficiency do not exist forcing system developers to use mechanical systems for controlling the field of view of an optical system. This proposal offers a means to correct this deficiency. Recent advances in VLSI foundry processes have made possible high-resolution, light-efficient backplanes capable of driving electro-optic modulators with high-voltage signals. The high-voltage signals provide the excitation to achieve sub-millisecond response times with a wave of phase modulation. By combining high-speed phase modulators with high-voltage VLSI backplanes, compact spatial light modulators become available for the various applications that need this type of performance such as optical signal routing or beamsteering, active diffractive optics and adaptive wavefront correction.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Aviation and space-based lidar systems will benefit, since the inertialess technology allows the field of view to be rapidly and accurately redirected without affecting platform orientation or requiring counterbalancing techniques for mechanical stabilization during scanning. The versatility and flexibility of the OPA technology makes it applicable for free-space laser communications, optical trapping (laser tweezers), optical storage, laser etching and as programmable gratings for telecommunications.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Steve Serati
Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc.
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette , CO   80026 - 8878

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc.
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette , CO   80026 - 8878


Form Printed on 05-09-02 16:37