NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S1.01-9308
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lidar System Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Efficient Tm-fiber-pumped Ho:YLF laser system for coherent LIDAR applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Q-Peak, Inc.
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730 - 2307
(781) 275-9535

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alex Dergachev
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730 - 2307
(781) 275-9535

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to employ a recently developed, efficient, high-power, heavily-doped Tm:silica-fiber technology as a high-gain fiber pre-amplifier and as a fiber-laser-pump for the laser crystal Ho:YLF to provide a 2050-nm source for remote-sensing applications, including coherent DIAL systems. The resultant source has the potential for much higher electrical efficiency than current technology. One of our innovations is the use of a directly diode-pumped, heavily-doped Tm:silica fiber laser as the pump, to provide efficient conversion of electrical power to optical pump power. The second innovation is the use of heavily-doped Tm:silica fiber as a high-gain pre-amplifier for a low-power 2050-nm master oscillator. The third innovation is made possible by the high gain available from our fiber-laser-pumped Ho:YLF amplifiers. In contrast to seeded oscillators, our laser system has enough gain to amplify a cw, externally-modulated, single-frequency laser, allowing control of the pulsewidth and wavelength while preserving the frequency stability of the source. The use of a Tm-fiber preamplifier simplifies the system architecture and increases the system efficiency. In the Phase I effort, we plan on demonstrating the amplification of a cw, single-frequency laser, as well as developing designs for complete compact, efficient mJ-level lidar sources.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed work has direct application to NASA coherent lidar programs based on the use of eyesafe, 2000-nm region lasers. The system concept we propose provides improved performance, by the nature of the direct amplification of cw, single-frequency lasers, the potential for improvement in overall system efficiency and the reduction in the required number of diode pump lasers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many commercial applications of coherent lidar that will become viable once their cost and complexity is reduced significantly. That the system be eyesafe is definitely a requirement since concerns for public safety will outweigh any potential benefits of non-eyesafe sources.

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