NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 O1.04-9718
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Optical Telecommunications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Downlink Fiber Laser Transmitter for Deep Space Communication

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)
Doruk Engin
13605 Dulles Technology Drive
Herndon, VA 20171 - 4603
(703) 471-7671 Extension :3688

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) roadmap, calls for an integrated network approach to communication and navigation needs for robotic and human space exploration missions, from near-Earth to planetary missions. Anytime, anywhere connectivity for Earth, Moon and Mars is a stated goal, with high-bandwidth optical relay crosslinks for Earth, Moon, Mars and planets. Laser based optical communication links for space provides more than an order of magnitude higher data rates than corresponding RF links.. In addition, this is achieved with much smaller size, weight & power (SWaP) burden to spacecraft payloads, making spacecraft resources available to enhance or extend science missions, and the overall mission productivity. Tremendous progress made in 1.5um & 1-um fiber-optic fiber laser/amplifier technologies, their power scaling, and availability of reliable high-power components, makes such transmitters feasible for space mission application. In this SBIR proposal, we propose to develop 1.5mm fiber-amplifier based laser transmitters, with Pavg>4W, and compatible with a variety of M-ary PPM formats, that have a clear path to a space-qualification roadmap. In addition, power-scaling to 10W, athermal operation over a wide temperature range (with passive conductive cooling only), and improved power efficiency, are simultaneously addressed. Limited scope qualification tests relevant for space environment will also be conducted. These activities leverage prior and ongoing related activities at Fibertek, on high-performance, high-reliability fiber laser transmitters.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary NASA application for this SBIR is to support high bandwidth lasercom spaceflight and aircraft flight terminals for planetary missions, as well as for various lunar & Mars relay links identified in the SCaN roadmap.
The core space-qualifiable, robust, compact and efficient lidar component technology developed in this SBIR is also directly applicable to remote sensing for planetary and asteroids missions. The technology can be used for atmospheric sensing of CO2, methane by frequency converting into the mid-IR. A low power version of the laser developed could be used for topological mapping, descent and landing utilizing the high frequency encoding capability of the laser.
The proposed laser technology is directly applicable for coherent lidar applications. NASA is funding coherent lidar technology as an aircraft mounted sensor for aviation-safety to detection of wake vortices, wind shear, turbulence and improved vision. The core laser technology can be used for atmospheric water and ice discrimination.
This core technology is directly applicable for NASA JPL's 2.05um CO2 lidar approach for Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS). ASCENDS is a NASA Earth Science Decadal Study Mission with NASA Announcements of Opportunity expected out within the next few years. By changing the fiber technology from Er to Tm the laser wavelength can be changed with little impact on packing design.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High bandwidth LEO/GEO satellite communication for military (2)High-BW real-time feed from multiple UAVs, via LEO/GEO crosslinks (3)High-BW CEO corsslinks for commercial satcom (4)In-flight wind sensor, to aid precision dropping of supplies in warzone

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.)
Fiber (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Photonics)
Lasers (Communication)
Waveguides/Optical Fiber (see also Optics)

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12