NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S1.01-8389
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lidar and Laser System Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Efficient in-band diode-pumped Q-switched solid state laser for methane detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Princeton Lightwave, Inc.
2555 Route 130 South, Suite 1
Cranbury, NJ 08512 - 3509
(609) 495-2600

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Igor Kudryashov
2555 US Route 130 S.
Cranbury, NJ 08512 - 3509
(609) 495-3003

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Growing interest in precise measurements of methane concentration and distribution in the Earth's atmosphere is stimulating efforts to develop LIDAR systems in the spectral region of 1.65 um utilizing Path Differential Absorption techniques. The key element of such systems is a high energy optical source with good beam properties operating in the vicinity of a methane absorption line. In-band pumping Q-switched solid state lasers (SSLs) based on Er-doped active media are good candidates for this required optical source. The in-band pumping of SSLs allows for shifting a significant portion of the system thermal load from the gain medium to the pump diodes, thus greatly reducing gain medium thermal distortions deleterious to SSL power scaling with high beam quality. As the goal of this SBIR program, we propose to develop an efficient Q-switched SSL with pulse energy >1 mJ at 1000 Hz repetition rate with in-band laser diode pumping operating at a wavelength of 1651 nm well-matched to the principle absorption band used for the detection of methane in the Earth's atmosphere. Based on gallium garnet gain media, this SSL will also provide sufficient tunability for DIAL techniques. We will leverage legacy work carried out at PLI in the development of high energy Q-switched Er:YAG SSLs with in-band laser diode pumping, as well as an excellent legacy in the design and manufacturing of the pump laser diodes themselves.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The development of the high-pulse-energy Er-doped solid state laser (SSL) proposed in this program will be crucial for LIDAR instruments intended for the measurement of methane in the Earth's atmosphere. This laser technology to be developed will also potentially provide new capabilities for measurements of other atmospheric constituents and the surface topography of the Earth and other planetary bodies anticipated for numerous NASA mission programs. This laser will serve as an ideal source for LIDAR systems in the wavelength range near 1.65 um and for active remote sensing optical instruments in general.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are a number of potential non-NASA commercial applications that will benefit from the development of high energy pulsed Er-doped SSLs. Specific applications include remote gas sensing, particularly for the detection of methane and other hydrocarbon gases critical to the energy industry. Other applications include commercial lidar systems; range-finding and ladar applications; medical systems for areas such as dermatology, nerve stimulation, and dentistry; and materials processing.

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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43