Component and Subsystem Development for Compact, Efficient LADAR Ranging

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$99,770.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
FA9453-10-M-0172
Award Id:
97275
Agency Tracking Number:
F093-089-0276
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-089
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
100 Marshland Road, Hilton Head, SC, 29926
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
063699441
Principal Investigator:
John Myers
CEO, Physicist
(843) 681-5800
jd@kigre.com
Business Contact:
Michael Myers
President, Chemist
(843) 681-5800
kigreinc@cs.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
The objective of this proposal is to demonstrate the feasibility and performance of compact, efficient, radiation hardened laser technology for LADAR detection, ranging and range-gated imaging applications. Traditional laser designs exhibit modest wall plug efficiencies. They are limited in scalability, tough to miniaturize and often intolerant of space radiation. Conventional diode pumped laser designs rely heavily on coupling optics to properly transfer the pump energy into the gain element. Standard architectures such as diode end pump, diode radial array pump and fiber lasers result in numerous trade-offs in laser energy, peak power, average power, beam quality, size, weight and wall plug efficiency. High Efficiency Side Pump (HESP) Diode Pumped Solid State (DPSS) lasers replace elaborate and expensive systems with simpler, smaller and more straightforward designs. For example, when compared to the US Army's Miniature Eye-safe Laser Infrared Observation Set (MELIOS) rangefinder, a comparable HESP laser occupies a about 1/8th the volume, uses an estimated 1/80th of the energy, is capable of 10x the power at half the cost. Kigre proposes to develop and integrate unique radiation hardened, athermal, 1.5um eye-safer laser gain materials and pumping architectures into compact highly efficient laser devices. BENEFIT: Direct diode side pumping of laser glass gain material reduces the need for launch and conditioning optics and the gain materials exhibit broad efficient absorption bands that provide for stable operation against pump diode wavelength shift with temperature. This allows for compact HESP laser designs that are readily scaleable in energy and average power. Compact high efficiency radiation resistant HESP laser transmitters would have potential commercial applications for use in collision avoidance, laser plasma spectroscopy, laser ignition and medicine. Military markets may include LAser Detection And Ranging (LADAR), LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR), tracking, atmospheric sensing, targeting, illumination, free-space communications and laser radar. Additional applications include directed energy, long range eye-safe laser terrain mapping and laser designation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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