NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


 

PROPOSAL NUMBER 99-1 20.02-7513 (Chron: 991382 )

PROJECT TITLE

100-PICOMETER THIN-FILM NARROW-BAND OPTICAL FILTERS


TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Ultranarrowband thin-film optical filters are critical-path items in NASAís most recent strategic plan for high-data-rate optical telecommunications between deep-space robotic spacecraft and Earth observers. Filter bandwidths less than 100 picometer (1 Angstrom or 0.1 nm) are needed at wavelengths of 1064 or 1550 nm (and maybe 532 nm) to reduce atmospherically scattered background light. The narrowest multi-cavity filters available today for these wavelengths have bandwidths 5x as large. Barr Associates, Inc., one of the nationís foremost precision optical filter manufacturers, has developed an innovative technology improvement plan to advance the state-of-the-art and achieve 100-picometer filters for the first time. Through a combination of coating equipment upgrades, coating

process development, and higher-resolution optical monitoring equipment, achievable bandwidths might be reduced without loss of transmittance or throughput. Durability, stability, and mechanical robustness likewise will not be compromised. This proposal contains a Phase-I plan with a sound technical foundation for achieving filters with

100-picometer bandwidths. A Senior scientist would lead the effort, building on 25 years of experience with optical coatings. Barr would like to execute this plan and build 100-picometer filters for the next generation of NASA telecommunications systems.


POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Immediate commercial applications include narrower filters for terrestrial fiber-optic Telecommunications (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) and space-based Laser Communication systems. The commercial terrestrial telecommunications market (telephones, fax, internet, etc.) is huge and growing exponentially. The commercial space-based telecommunication market (geostationary satellite to ground) is growing. High-resolution spectroscopy for science, medicine and industry is a third noteworthy commercial market. Military applications are also anticipated.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address,

City/State/Zip)

Dr. Walter T. Pawlewicz

Barr Associates, Inc

2 Lyberty Way

Westford , MA 01886 - 3690


NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Barr Associates, Inc.

2 Lyberty Way

Westford , MA 01886 - 3690