NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 O1.05-8452
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Transformational Communications Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Coherent optical transceiver using circular polarization-based balanced mixing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Boulder Nonlinear Systems Inc
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
LAFAYETTTE, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Boulder Nonlinear Systems (BNS) proposes to use its electro-optic component and subsystem expertise to transition a patented heterodyne detection scheme previously conceived by BNS for LIDAR to application in satellite based laser communications. The proposed effort will leverage past and present contracts in free space optical communication and space qualification of components. The proposed transceiver, which can be demonstrated with COTS components, is independent of platform orientation and path length differences. In addition BNS will investigate replacing the transceiver's conventional crystal modulator with a low voltage polymer electro-optic modulator.

The proposed work plan entails demonstration of the path length and orientation insensitivity of the detection scheme as well as implementation of an electro-optic polymer based modulator for 1550 nm laser radiation. In addition to the proof of principle demonstration, Boulder Nonlinear Systems proposes to perform a design study to determine the size, weight and power of the transceiver subsystem and develop a road map for space qualification of the technology. A follow-on Phase II effort would result in a prototype laser communication subsystem with potential for satellite based application.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to the transformational communications application to which this proposal is responding, a space-qualifiable heterodyne optical mixer would have applications in many of NASA's remote sensing applications. A successful Phase II follow-on will result in a laser communication subsystem, which could be transitioned into a commercial product. This would be significant for the research community where to date there are no compact and inexpensive off-the-shelf heterodyne free space optical communication detection systems, let alone one that is insensitive to path length differences and platform orientation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
One example is military transformational communications in which the proposed technology would be an enabler for a satellite laser communications backbone. This technology would also be directly applicable to commercial free space optical communications targeted at the last mile in residential and business broadband communications. In addition, LIDAR remote sensing could benefit from the proposed heterodyne detection scheme.

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.

Optical & Photonic Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14