NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 S1.04-8873
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter
PROPOSAL TITLE: Polarimetric Multiwavelength Focal Plane Arrays for ACE and CLARREO

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Phoebus Optoelectronics, LLC
12 Desbrosses Street
New York, NY 10013 - 1704
(718) 484-7033

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Crouse
12 Desbrosses Street
New York, NY 10013 - 1704
(845) 519-7463

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
High-performance polarimetric and nonpolarimetric sensing is crucial to upcoming NASA missions, including ACE and CLARREO and the multi-agency VIIRS NPP project. The objective of the proposed project is to use single-layer metamaterial metal/dielectric composites to develop multiwavelength polarimetric focal plane arrays (FPAs) that far exceed performance requirements for ACE and CLARREO, while reducing costs through component integration. Phoebus's metamaterial films are an enabling technology and can be used to develop high spectral resolution, low-crosstalk components for other NASA missions, such as GEO-CAPE, as well as transparent metal contacts for high-efficiency sensors and solar cells. Phoebus's metamaterial films can eliminate several problems with current polarimetric detectors, such as diffraction, light scattering, moving parts, and the need to dice/bond components. This project will use recent discoveries in metamaterials research that allow for polarimetric control of the flow and focusing/superbeaming of light, concepts that have been analytically and experimentally verified during Phase I. Phoebus's Phase I results confirmed that its structures will allow for 2500x improvement in polarization extinction ratios - the key performance metric for polarimetric detectors – compared with currently available polarimetric detectors. Phase I results also confirmed that the relevant structures can be fabricated using routine materials and fabrication techniques in widespread use throughout the semiconductor device industry. In Phase II, Phoebus will focus on improving several performance metrics of its polarizing filter arrays, such as wavelength selectivity and transmissivity, as well as optimizing fabrication processes necessary to produce high aspect ratio light-channeling dielectric apertures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed project will lead directly to commercialization of polarimetric sensors ideally suited to NASA's upcoming ACE and CLARREO missions and VIIRS NPP project. Through knowledge gained about theoretical modeling and fabrication methodologies, the project may also lead to other photonic devices of use to NASA. For example, the light-concentrating abilities of Phoebus's recently designed metamaterial Fresnel zone plates are well-suited to creation of pixel-sized microlenses, to be fabricated atop IR focal plane arrays. Such devices improve sensitivity of space-based imaging and remote sensing systems by enabling smaller, lower-noise detector elements without loss of light-gathering power while simultaneously reducing system mass. Fabry-Perot interferometers are currently used as narrowband wavelength filters for select remote sensing and astronomy applications. By tapping into very narrow bandwidth light-circulating modes, Phoebus's could also improve on current devices by providing even narrower bandwidths with a simpler, lighter and lower-cost device.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Phoebus's metamaterial films are an enabling technology with a variety of potential applications spanning multiple device types and industries. With relatively minor adjustments to their dimensions, geometries and material composition, Phoebus's metamaterial films can elicit extremely diverse light-management phenomena, ranging from wavelength filtering, polarization filtering and polarization beam splitting to light localization, focusing, circulation, weaving and trapping. Phoebus has developed a disciplined device development pipeline, which includes i) terrestrial polarimetric infrared sensors for improved target discrimination ii) antireflective invisible electrodes for silicon solar cells and iii) a solar biofuel platform capable of generating methanol from carbon dioxide. The total combined annual value of the targeted markets exceeds $100 billion. Phoebus is adopting an intellectual property (IP) licensing business model in which it will develop devices to their prototype stage prior to licensing the technology to device manufacturers. We have already established relationships with leading infrared sensor manufacturers and have begun preliminary collaborations around the commercialization of our polarimetric sensors for military imaging. Our collaborators estimate that our device designs will lead to at least 2500x performance improvements, while simultaneously reducing prices through component integration.

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.

Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Optical & Photonic Materials
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26