Waveguide Laser for High Data Rate Deep Space Communications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: NASA1944
Amount: $69,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
655 Aspen Ridge Drive, Lafayette, CO, 80026
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Wayne Pelouch
 Senior Research Scientist
 (303) 604-2000
Business Contact
 Paul Revely
Title: VP of Business Development
Phone: (303) 604-2000
Email: johnbe@ctilidar.com
Research Institution
Deep space optical communications requires a laser source and modulation technique for high data bandwidth with low power consumption, diffraction-limited beam quality, and the absolute minimal size/weight. Optical fibers are compact and can efficiently amplify high data rate diode lasers, but do not provide the peak power required for detection over deep space transmit distances. Bulk diode-pumped solid-state lasers can produce the required Q-switched pulse energies, but are not as efficient or robust as guided-wave lasers. Furthermore, bulk lasers require a high voltage Q-switch to accurately time the laser pulses for pulse-position modulation (PPM) formats. Coherent Technologies, Inc. has recently discovered a new waveguide laser geometry that allows TEM00 operation in a multi-transverse mode waveguide capable of high power operation. This geometry is exceptionally compact/lightweight and capable of high conversion efficiency as is typically achieved in fiber lasers. Furthermore, this same technology can be applied to create low voltage ( 15 V) Q-switches or phase modulators resulting in a nearly monolithic optical communications transmitter. The waveguide laser transmitter is compatible with a variety of data encoding formats, could be used with direct or coherent detection receivers, and will be capable of data rates in excess of 10 Mbps.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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