Miniature Laser Magnetometer (MLM)
This 2009 NASA SBIR Phase 1 proposal for an innovative Miniature Laser Magnetometer (MLM) is a response to subtopic S1.06 Particles and Field Sensors and Instrument Enabling Technologies. The MLM instrument will incorporate a number of technical innovations to achieve high-sensitivity and high-stability performance while significantly reducing the size of the laser-pumped helium magnetometer for use on very small satellites and UAVs. The MLM design approach will trade sensitivity for miniaturization of critical components while still meeting the performance requirements for geomagnetic and space science experiments. Reduction in instrument mass, volume and power will be accomplished through innovations including miniaturized components, laser spectroscopy techniques for resonance detection, compact integrated optical designs and miniaturized electronics packaging. The MLM will have a dynamic range up to 75,000 nT and a 860 Hz sample rate. The scalar sensitivity will be 1 pT/rtHz with an accuracy of 0.1 nT. The vector sensitivity will be 1 pT/rtHz with an accuracy of 0.5 nT. Trade studies will select the innovations for inclusion in the MLM conceptual design that will demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating and demonstrating a brass-board in Phase 2. The TRL is expected to be 4 at the end of the Phase 1 contract.
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