Fault-Protected Laser Diode Drivers for Improving the Performance and Lifetime of Multiple-Millisecond, Long-Pulse LDAs for NASA LIDAR Systems

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Amount:
$69,971.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
NNL06AA45P
Solitcitation Year:
2005
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2006
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
053156
Solicitation Topic Code:
S6.02
Small Business Information
Science Research Laboratory, Inc.
15 WARD ST, Somerville, MA, 02143-4228
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
106771140
Principal Investigator
 Rod Petr
 Principal Investigator
 (617) 547-1122
 rpetr@srl.com
Business Contact
 Jonah Jacob
Title: President
Phone: (617) 547-1122
Email: jjacob@srl.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This SBIR project will develop and deliver revolutionary driver technology with intelligent fault protection for driving long-pulse (> 2msec), quasi-CW laser diode arrays (LDAs) at high power with improved performance and lifetime. A critical issue with operating LDAs for long discharge pulses is localized diode heating leads to current and optical instabilities, which irrevocably damage emitters resulting in LDA failure. SRL has demonstrated that diode instabilities can be detected and eliminated. As a result, integrating SRL's proprietary fault diagnostics into diode drivers increases laser diode lifetimes by more than a factor-of-40 over unprotected drivers. In addition, in Phase 1, SRL will acquire data demonstrating that our fault-mode circuitry can be used as a diagnostic to a priory determine which LDA's will have long lifetimes. In Phase 2 we will deliver a fully engineered compact driver for powering NASA LDAs and screening their suitability for use in flight hardware. The Phase 2 driver will have specific power ratings up to 7 kW/liter, which is 4 times higher than existing laser diode drivers. The combination of fault diagnostics for increased laser diode performance and lifetime and compact packaging, makes the SRL driver an important technology for powering LDAs for NASA flight systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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