SBIR Phase I: Ultra-Fast Electro-Optically Tuned Laser
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a compact, rugged, rapidly and widely tunable, low noise, narrowband laser for use in microwave photonic processing applications. The key innovation in this effort is the use of a shaped ferroelectric in conjunction with a diffraction grating to produce an electro-optically controlled wavelength tuning element. The monolithic electro-optic tuning element, when combined with a semiconductor or rare-earthed doped gain media will result in an ultra-compact narrowband laser source that will be capable of extremely fast, mode hope free tuning over 100 GHz with a programmable chirping profile. Use of fiber coupled semiconductor optical amplifiers will ensure output power of at least 100 mW in a diffraction limited beam, and act as an optimal seed source for further possible amplification by a fiber laser amplifier. The research objectives of the Phase I effort include designing, fabricating, and demonstrating the successful operation of a prototype EO tunable laser. This effort will lead to advanced tuning capabilities in the field of microwave photonics. With the increasing demand for high-speed communications, there has been growing interest in developing techniques that can transmit microwave and/or millimeter waves over optical fiber. Low-noise tunable lasers would prove especially useful in this field. The technology will also be useful for improved Ladar sensors that can perform acquisition, tracking, and discrimination on missile and airborne platforms. Other potential applications include antenna remoting, beam forming networks for array antennas, feed networks for wireless communications, photonic processing of microwave signals, cable television signal distribution, sensor systems, and instrumentation. During the Phase I, the team will continue its effort in creating a broader impact in research and education through its onsite research program for university undergraduates and high school teachers.
Small Business Information at Submission:
2310 UNIVERSITY WAY BUILDING #1 BOZEMAN, MT 59715
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