NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X2.02-8931
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomous Precision Landing and Hazard Detection and Avoidance
PROPOSAL TITLE: Efficient 3-D Ladar Source

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)
Glen A Rines
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 develop a significant improvement in the performance of diode-pumped, Nd:YLF lasers by employing direct optical pumping of the upper level of the 1-micron laser transition. This novel pumping technique has been applied to other Nd laser systems, notably Nd:YAG and Nd:vanadate, but to our knowledge this has not been successfully applied to Nd:YLF laser systems. Q-Peak is in a unique position to develop this technique specifically for Nd:YLF owing to the extensive work that we have done over the past decade in developing our patented MPS systems, which employ Nd:YLF as the gain medium. Researchers who have applied this pumping technique to Nd:YAG have shown an increase in slope efficiency of about 20% and a reduction in thermal load of about 30%. We expect to see similar levels of improvement in Nd:YLF performance in this project.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed work has direct application to NASA programs for entry, descent and landing (EDL) systems in future lunar and planetary exploration missions. In particular, flash ladar systems that can provide real-time, three-dimensional terrain mapping capability would be useful for automation of terminal descent of unmanned vehicles. For this application the emphasis must be placed on compactness, reliability, efficiency, low weight, and high performance. The system concept we propose provides improved performance, due to higher efficiency, scalability, and modularity and 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)
The proposed high-efficiency, high-energy MPS technology would be an extension of our existing diode-pumped product line and would offer a step-up in efficiency and energy from our existing products. A MPS Nd:YLF laser with 10 to 100 mJ/pulse fundamental energy, and high beam quality, with the addition of harmonic generation for some systems, could provide a relatively low-cost solution for precision machining applications such as marking, cutting, welding and drilling, of interest to the electronics, automotive and medical-device industry. Q-Peak, as it is now doing with the MPS product line, would strive to establish OEM relationships with systems integrators who supply machining and processing tools to end customers.

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.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50