Broadband Coherent Terahertz Spectrum Analyzer

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-11-M-6206
Agency Tracking Number: F103-037-0757
Amount: $99,989.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-037
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
Photonic Systems Division, 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100, Torrance, CA, -
DUNS: 153865951
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Victor Grubsky
 (310) 320-3088
Business Contact
 Gordon Drew
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (310) 320-3088
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for a coherent terahertz (THz) spectrum analyzer, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Coherent Broadband Terahertz Spectrum Analyzer (CONTRAST) system. Based on the detection of the intensity and frequency of an external THz source, the proposed system combines mature commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components with a new approach to characterizing tunable THz sources that uses POC-developed components and software. The innovation in CONTRAST will enable the system to achieve a broad operating frequency range (>10 THz), high frequency resolution (~300 kHz), high frequency accuracy (5 GHz10 GHz), fast measurement time (<1 s), and modular and compact implementation, therefore satisfying or exceeding the Air Force requirements. The proposed CONTRAST technology will provide the Air Force with a useful and versatile tool for characterizing THz sources used in biomedical research. In Phase I, we plan to analyze and optimize the CONTRAST system and demonstrate the feasibility of our approach by building and testing a THz spectrometer prototype. In Phase II, we will demonstrate the full range of the required operating parameters and fabricate a more advanced version of CONTRAST that will be demonstrated to the Air Force in a relevant environment. BENEFIT: Military applications of the CONTRAST technology will include new weapons and communications technologies, explosives and biohazards detection, and non-destructive testing (NDT). The CONTRAST THz spectrum analyzer can be used by the Air Force for calibrating and testing THz sources that are employed in the above applications. Significant applications of the CONTRAST system will include use by industry and academia to generate THz energy for medical imaging and security applications. This THz source could be used in academia for basic scientific exploration of THz energy. Because the CONTRAST system has the capabilities of detection and identification of concealed objects, as well as chemical and biological molecules, it has numerous commercial applications for public-access area security inspections, such as airports, subway stations, and government buildings.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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