Fault-Protected Laser Diode Drivers for Improving the Performance and Lifetime of Multiple-Millisecond, Long-Pulse LDAs for NASA LIDAR Systems
This SBIR project will develop and deliver to NASA revolutionary laser diode driver technology with intelligent fault protection for driving high power laser diode arrays (LDAs). A key goal of the project is to increase the lifetime of LDAs operating under long-pulse (>2 msec), quasi-CW conditions by a factor-of-10, to at least 1 billion shot lifetime, in order to meet NASA mission requirements. A critical issue with operating LDAs for long pulses is localized diode heating leads to current and optical instabilities, which damages emitters resulting in LDA failure. SRL has demonstrated that diode instabilities can be detected and eliminated, and SRL's fault protected drivers increase laser diode lifetimes by more than a factor-of-10. A key technical step that will be implemented in Phase 2 is to develop and integrate SRL fault protection with laser diode stacks. This will also include NASA-developed temperature/voltage diagnostic to provide additional information on laser diode performance and lifetime. In Phase 2 SRL will develop multiple laser diode protection technologies, and deliver to NASA an integrated fault protection module for test and evaluation. This fault protected driver package for laser diode stacks will support scale up designs for flight hardware in Phase 3.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Rodney D. Petr
Science Research Laboratory, Inc.
15 Ward Street Somerville, MA 02143
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