NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Lidar Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Fault-Protected Laser Diode Drivers for Improving the Performance and Lifetime of Multiple-Millisecond, Long-Pulse LDAs for NASA LIDAR Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Science Research Laboratory Inc
15 Ward St
Somerville, MA 02143-4228
(617) 547-1122

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rodney   Petr
15 Ward St
Somerville, MA  02143-4228
(617) 547-1122

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This SBIR project will develop and deliver to NASA revolutionary laser diode driver technology with intelligent fault protection for driving high power laser diode arrays (LDAs). A key goal of the project is to increase the lifetime of LDAs operating under long-pulse (>2 msec), quasi-CW conditions by a factor-of-10, to at least 1 billion shot lifetime, in order to meet NASA mission requirements. A critical issue with operating LDAs for long pulses is localized diode heating leads to current and optical instabilities, which damages emitters resulting in LDA failure. SRL has demonstrated that diode instabilities can be detected and eliminated, and SRL's fault protected drivers increase laser diode lifetimes by more than a factor-of-10. A key technical step that will be implemented in Phase 2 is to develop and integrate SRL fault protection with laser diode stacks. This will also include NASA-developed temperature/voltage diagnostic to provide additional information on laser diode performance and lifetime. In Phase 2 SRL will develop multiple laser diode protection technologies, and deliver to NASA an integrated fault protection module for test and evaluation. This fault protected driver package for laser diode stacks will support scale up designs for flight hardware in Phase 3.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
LDAs are a critical component for NASA applications that use solid-state and fiber lasers. These solid-state lasers are used as lidars for earth science projects for a variety of important atmospheric measurements. They are also used for space exploration including; planetary mapping, hazard avoidance, rendezvous and docking and high bandwidth, high data-rate communication links. The LDAs that are used for NASA earth and space applications require improved reliability and lifetime. Recent experience has indicated that unanticipated reliability issues with LDAs in particular can severely impact on-orbit mission life and mission success. SRL's driver technology will improve LDA reliability and lifetime by 10x.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Initially the customers for the government market will be system providers for NASA and the DoD. From SRL's discussions with General Atomics, BAE, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, we estimate the market size will be small initially as these organizations are in the process of delivering pre-prototypes and prototypes. The BAE Systems market is more established and, starting in 2009, they plan to deliver approximately 100 laser systems annually that can integrate SRL's fault protected technology. SRL expects to sell drivers for $10,000 per unit that gives a total market of approximately a million dollars annually. This market is expected to increase by 20% annually as SRL's power supplies are integrated into additional systems and General Atomics and Northrop Grumman prototypes become NASA and DoD hardware. The private sector market is $3.2 billion annually and is interested in LDAs pumping solid-state lasers for industrial welding and cutting, and advanced lithography EUV sources.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.


Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04