NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Lidar Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Space-Qualified 1064 nm Seed and Metrology Laser

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Fibertek Inc.
510 Herndon Pkwy
Herndon ,VA 20170 - 5225
(703) 471 - 7671

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Floyd   Hovis
510 Herndon Pkwy
Herndon ,VA  20170 -5225
(703) 471 - 7671
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

Several instruments that are potential candidates for future space-based NASA missions require a highly stable, single frequency laser oscillator that is wavelength tunable. It should be a cw source with an output in the 10-100 mW range. Most of the applications either require that the wavelength be near 1064 nm or can use that wavelength. To meet many of the applications, the laser should have a short-term frequency drift of <1 MHz/min and a long-term frequency stability of +/-50 MHz. The more demanding applications require long term stability of +/-1 MHz. Some commercial lasers meet the less stringent performance requirements, but to our knowledge, Lightwave Electronics is the only domestic laser vendor that has built any space-qualified units. None of the commercial lasers meet the +/-1 MHz long term stability requirement. At this time no domestic laser manufacturers, including Lightwave Electronics, appear to be interested in supplying a laser that meets the +/-50 MHz long term stability requirement in a space-qualified version. We are proposing to build a space-qualified version of the required laser based on a design that is an innovative synthesis of microchip laser technology, space-qualifiable thermal control systems, frequency locking techniques that use a simple I2 absorption cell, and compact packaging technology. In addition to the basic cw laser development that was begun in Phase I, we are proposing to develop a next generation of compact control electronics. We are also proposing to demonstrate the utility of the system by using it to injection seed a Q-switched, 10 kHz repetition rate Nd:YAG laser oscillator. The required laser development strongly overlaps the technology development areas defined in the SBIR topic E1.02, Lidar Remote Sensing. The areas of overlap include the more specific categories of High Spectral Resolution Lidar systems, lidar for direct wind detection, and innovative laser component technologies.

The potential NASA Commercial Applications we have identified are listed below.

1) Direct detection wind lidar development at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Fibertek delivered a first generation laser transmitter for this system in the spring of 2002.
2) High Brightness Spectral Resolution Lidar research at Langley Research Center (LaRC). Fibertek delivered a first generation laser transmitter for this program in the spring of 2003.
3) Ozone DIAL system development at LaRC. Fibertek completed an Advanced Technology Initiative Program in March 2004 that demonstrated a conductively cooled single-frequency laser transmitter that had a single-frequency output of 300 mJ/pulse at 50 Hz with an M2 < 1.5 in support of this program.
4) Geostationary Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) interferometer.

The potential Non-NASA Commercial Applications we have identified are listed below.

1) Fourier Transform Spectroscopy for remote sensing applications being developed at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp (BATC)
2) Direct detection wind lidar systems being developed at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems for airborne and space-based applications. Raytheon is currently funding Fibertek to develop a 50 Hz, 1 J, single-frequency 1064 nm laser that is frequency tripled to an M2< 2 for use in their wind lidar program.
3) NOAA development of a Gulfstream IV aircraft based direct detection wind lidar for hurricane wind monitoring. Fibertek has recently responded to an RFI for the required laser transmitter.
4) NOAA sponsored development at the University of New Hampshire of a balloon based direct detection wind lidar. Fibertek is in the process of negotiating a contract for the required laser transmitter.
5) Air Force Research Laboratory sponsored development of a 1 J, 100 Hz laser operating at 1 ?m that would be used in a variety of future space-based lidar systems. Fibertek recently won a Phase II SBIR to develop the required laser transmitter.

Form Printed on 07-28-04 12:14