NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-E1.02-8703 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034302)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Lidar Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Solid-state Ceramic Laser Material for Remote Sensing of Ozone Using Nd:Yttria

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Brimrose Corporation of America
5024 Campbell Blvd., Suite E
Baltimore ,MD 21236 - 4968
(410) 931 - 7200

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Sudhir B. Trivedi
5025 Campbell Blvd., Suite E
Baltimore ,MD  21236 -4968
(410) 668 - 5800
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

Tunable solid state lasers have played an important role in providing the technology necessary for active remote sensing of the atmosphere. Recently, polycrystalline ceramic laser materials have become of great interest for diode-pumped solid state lasers. Compared to single-crystals, ceramic laser materials offer advantages in terms of ease of fabrication, shape, size, and dopant concentrations. We propose to develop neodymium doped yttria as a solid-state ceramic laser material for remote sensing of ozone. Neodymium doped yttria has emission lines at 914 nm and 946 nm. When these emission lines are frequency tripled, they correspond to ~305 nm and ~315 nm. These wavelengths are of particular interest since NASA is endeavoring to develop LIDAR devices for global monitoring that measure the differences in the back-scattered energy at two closely spaced ultraviolet wavelengths to derive a measure of the ozone distribution. Research has shown that neodymium doped yttria is one of the few materials capable of producing two wavelengths that, when frequency tripled, result in wavelengths around 305 nm and 315 nm. Thus, we propose a scalable production method to make spherical non agglomerated and monodisperse ceramic powders of neodymium doped yttria that can be used to fabricate polycrystalline ceramic material disks with sintered grain size in a suitable range. The polycrystalline ceramic material will be characterized for its suitability as a diode pumped solid state laser.

The ceramic laser material that will be developed during this research will have potential applications in LIDAR remote sensing applications. Neodymium doped yttria has emission lines at 914 nm and 946 nm, which, when frequency tripled, correspond to ~305 nm and ~315 nm. These wavelengths are of particular interest for differential absorption lidar (DIAL). DIAL techniques are used to determine molecular constituent concentrations present in the atmosphere such as ozone and green house gases, which are of particular interest because of their impact on the environment.

Polycrystalline ceramic lasers have enormous potential commercial applications. Commercial applications include remote sensing, chemical detection and scientific research. Furthermore, the cost to produce ceramic laser materials is potentially much lower than that for single crystal materials because of the shorter time it takes to fabricate the material and also because of the possibility of mass production.