NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S1.01-8427
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lidar System Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Wavelength Stabilized High Brightness Direct Diode Pumps for Solid State LIDAR Systems at Eye-Safe Wavelengths

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
nLight Photonics
5408 NE 88th Street, Building E
Vancouver, WA 98665 - 0990
(360) 566-4400

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kirk Price
5408 NE 88th St. Bldg E
Vancouver, WA 98665 - 0990
(360) 521-6107

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Proposed is a high power, high efficiency, high reliability compact eye-safe LIDAR source. The diode pump source is an electrically series-connected array of single emitters coupled into an optical fiber known commercially as Pearl. During the course of the program nLight will transfer and improve its present record 1470-nm diode technology to a AuSn solder bond line, while also elongating the cavity for better performance. During the second phase of the program, internal gratings will be added to the diodes to narrow the emission line width providing better absorption in the Er:YAG system and a Er:YAG laser meeting the requirements set forth in the solicitation, pumped by the source developed over the course of the program's two phases, will be demonstrated.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Any LIDAR application may be addressed by the deliverable of this program. While the design is targeted toward an eye-safe fiber coupled 1470-nm high-power source pumping an Er:YAG solid state laser, the system is, by design, wavelength agnostic. Hence, the fiber coupled source laser may be populated with any wavelength diode laser in nLight's inventory (from 635-nm to >2 microns) with only suitable changes to the optical coatings. Further, the process development of the AuSn bond line necessary to achieve the high power from the source is also applicable across nLight's diode wavelength range. The development under this program is therefore applicable to the pumping of all solid-state lasers or in direct-diode applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology developed under this program has broad application to non-NASA markets. Particularly in the defense and security community, the need for ever more powerful, compact, efficient end reliable LIDAR sources appears to be growing without bound, with eye-safe sources being of considerable emphasis. Using the example of intelligence gathering by unmanned vehicles, compactness, lightweight, high efficiency and reliability dramatically reduce payload overhead for the LIDAR. The module to be developed under this program also has application in direct-diode medical applications (such as dentistry and surgery) and sensing applications.

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.


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