NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S1.04-9669
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter
PROPOSAL TITLE: Tunable, High-Power Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser Local Oscillator

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
LongWave Photonics
958 San Leandro Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043 - 1996
(617) 399-6405

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Tsungyu Kao
958 San Leandro Avenue, Suite 300
Mountain View, CA 94043 - 1996
(617) 399-6405

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Alan W.M. Lee
958 San Leandro Avenue, Suite 300
Mountain View, CA 94043 - 1996
(617) 399-6405

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA and NASA funded missions/instruments such as Aura/MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder), SOFIA/GREAT and STO/STO-2 have demonstrated the need for local oscillator (LO) sources between 30 and 300 um (1 and 10 THz). For observations >2 THz, technologically mature microwave sources typically have microwatt power levels which are insufficient to act as LOs for a heterodyne receivers. LongWave Photonics is proposing to develop a high power, frequency tunable, phase/frequency-locked, single mode, External Cavity THz quantum cascade laser (ECT-QCL) system with >2 mW average power output and a clear path to increase the power to >10 mW. The system includes a THz QC gain chip based on SISP or metal-meal waveguide with integrated horn or lens structure to reduce facet reflectivity. Frequency selective external feedback will be frequency tunable over 100's of GHz, with center frequencies ranging from 2 to 5 THz. The gain chip will be packaged in a high-reliability Stirling cycle cooler. The source will be phase/frequency locked to a stable microwave reference synthesizer with <100 kHz line width.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications include the use of the QCL as an LO for >2 THz receivers for future missions. Here the narrow line width (<100 kHz) of the QCLs can be used to resolve Doppler-limited low pressure gasses (~MHz linewidth). The exterval cavity QCL LO will be a frequency tunable, compact replacement for any gas-laser LO. The resulting source will be a compact, reliable, table-top sized THz high power with stabilized frequency. It will be an easy-to-use platform for NASA researchers to study the performance of other key components in the receiver such as Schottky or HEB mixers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Initial applications for this technology are mainly research markets for low pressure gas spectroscopy. The narrow line width and the ability to provide real-time frequency information and freqeuncy tunability of THz radiation also has great appeal. Another potential application is to replace THz gas laser used for THz detector power calibration. Long-term applications include industrial uses for trace gas detection. For industrial applications, the use of high-reliability, compact Stirling cycle coolers would greatly increase the usability of these QCL devices, which have traditionally required liquid nitrogen cooling or larger cryocooling systems.

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.)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Terahertz (Sub-millimeter)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59