You are here

Robust Mid-IR Optical Fibers for Extreme Environments

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-16-C-0013
Agency Tracking Number: F15A-T02-0027
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF15-AT02
Solicitation Number: 2015.0
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-02-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-10-31
Small Business Information
300 Ringgold Industrial Parkway
Danville, VA 24540
United States
DUNS: 623702557
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Francois Chenard
 (434) 483-4304
Business Contact
 Francois Chenard
Phone: (434) 483-4304
Research Institution
 University North Carolina Charlotte
 Dr. Ishwar Aggarwal
9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
United States

 (704) 687-5897
 Nonprofit College or University

ABSTRACT: Chalcogenide glass fibers are commercially available and are used for delivery of mid-infrared wavelengths (1.5um to 6.5um).These fibers allow compact, robust and low-weight laser platforms designs.Laser systems in high-power and high-stress environments find their reliability and performance limited due to free-space optical components.Free-space components suffer from vibration and thermal issues that can be eliminated by employing optical fibers as means of beam guidance throughout the platform.Current state-of-the-art chalcogenide fiber production yields fibers with good optical qualities and consistent mechanical properties.However, chalcogenide fiber mechanical strength and optical transmission could be improved significantly by reducing impurities introduced during glass and fiber fabrication.The proposed effort will demonstrate the feasibility of developing materials improvements to current chalcogenide glass and fiber fabrication processes that will increase fiber strength and decrease transmission losses.These novel processes will surpass current state-of-the-art yielding chalcogenide fibers with improved mechanical and optical properties capable of handling high-power and high-stress environments typical for IRCM laser system applications.Chalcogenide fibers could replace free-space optical components in military, industrial and medical applications in need of better performance and reliability under high-stress, high-power environments.; BENEFIT: Development of chalcogenide fibers capable of low-loss (<1dB/m) transmission in the 1.5um to 6.5um region, high mechanical strength (>20kpsi) and capable of working under harsh environments is of great benefit for military applications, especially for next generation infrared countermeasure (IRCM) laser systems.These fibers would be able to replace free-space optical components currently employed on laser platforms.These platforms find their reliability and performance limited under high-stress and high-power environments, due to its free-space components.Chalcogenide fibers allow a platform with improved reliability and performance, immune to vibrations present in high-stress environments, capable of handling high-powers which effectively removes the limitations currently set by free-space optics; while also offering platforms with reduced cost, weight and size.Additionally, industrial, medical and other military applications would benefit from the improved chalcogenide fibers.Applications such as: chemical sensing, laser surgery, long-range detection, etc.; are some examples.Also, these fibers can be utilized to develop fiber-optics devices for mid-infrared lasers.Quantum cascade lasers are an attractive laser source covering the whole mid-infrared region, chalcogenide fibers with a transmission window covering the whole mid-infrared would be of great benefit for such laser sources.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government