NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-2 O1.04-9435
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Optical Telecommunications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-kW Uplink Fiber-Laser Beacon with Agile Signal Format

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Fibertek, Inc.
13605 Dulles Technology Drive
Herndon, VA 20171 - 4603
(703) 471-7671

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Phillips
510 Herndon Parkway
Herndon, VA 20170 - 5225
(703) 471-7671

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
 Laser beacons with scalable powers are needed for ground to deep-space optical communication uplinks. They serve as absolute reference for tracking of spacecraft during the downlink laser communication. For such space communication link distances the beam spread due to diffraction is significant enough that only few photons are collected by a moderate size optical telescopes on the spacecraft. This necessitates photon-counting detectors suited for the space environment, along with increasing the output power of the laser beacon. Ultra low noise silicon avalanche photo-detector (Si-APD) based position-sensing detectors are used on the spacecraft to detect the laser beacons. Such Si-APDSs are also radiation-hardened and compatible with space-environment operation. It is therefore desirable to operate at shorter wavelengths ~1000nm, where Si-APDs have improved spectral responsivity. This helps to improve the SNR for tracking, and consequently reduce the uplink laser power requirements. Under Phase 2 program Fibertek will design and build a single-channel uplink laser beacon transmitter operating at 1030nm, capable of 500W average output power and 500kHz 16-PPM ary format operation. Inputs from end-user will be solicited for intended use and application, so as to drive the design requirements. Baseline multi-stage 1024nm nm 300W Yb-fiber amplifier architecture demonstrated in Phase 1 will be transitioned to highly robust 'all-fiber' configuration. Proposed design and prototype hardware is based on COTS fiber-optic technology platform, thereby leading to TRL = 4 – 5 level for the SBIR Phase 2 deliverable.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
 Compact, robust, and high-efficiency 1030nm laser transmitter for uplink beacon application for deep-space communication.
 Highly compact, and cost-effective low power (40–100W) uplink laser beacons for near-Earth optical space communication links, e.g. as part of the NASA-SCaN roadmap. Alternately, using uplink laser beacons with higher powers, smaller aperture optical telescopes (~15-30cm) can enable high-bandwidth space optical communication links.
 The various design parameters and trade-offs are applicable to the design of other 1-m long-pulse lidar transmitters for NASA application (e.g. for atmospheric column sounding). Similarly, most principles carry over to the design of 1.5-m fiber laser/amplifier based lidar transmitters.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
 Laser illuminator and high-rate fine-tracking for directed-energy (DE) applications. In fact, HEL-JTO has a very similar requirement for such laser sources to be used for tracking lidars.
 MDA applications for target identification and designation.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
3D Imaging
Ablative Propulsion
Active Systems
Actuators & Motors
Adaptive Optics
Air Transportation & Safety
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Atmospheric Propulsion
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Coding & Compression
Command & Control
Computer System Architectures
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Fusion
Data Input/Output Devices (Displays, Storage)
Data Modeling (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Data Processing
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Development Environments
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Propulsion
Fiber (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Photonics)
GPS/Radiometric (see also Sensors)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Image Analysis
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Image Processing
Inertial (see also Sensors)
Lasers (Communication)
Lasers (Guidance & Tracking)
Lasers (Ignition)
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Lasers (Machining/Materials Processing)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Lasers (Medical Imaging)
Lasers (Surgical)
Lasers (Weapons)
Launch Engine/Booster
Lifetime Testing
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Navigation & Guidance
Operating Systems
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Photon Sails (Solar; Laser)
Power Combiners/Splitters
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Process Monitoring & Control
Project Management
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Spacecraft Main Engine
Surface Propulsion
Telemetry (see also Control & Monitoring)
Telescope Arrays
Waveguides/Optical Fiber (see also Optics)

Form Generated on 12-15-11 17:36