Supercontinuum Laser Systems and the Simulation of the High Radiance Solar Lunar Spectrum for Space Sensor Testing

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Optical Sciences Corporation
P.O. Box 8291, Huntsville, AL, 35808
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Thomas Cantey
Senior Scientist
(256) 922-1500
Business Contact:
David Beasley
(256) 922-1500
Research Institution:
In this proposal Optical Sciences Corporation will demonstrate the feasibility and present a plan for using supercontinuum lasers as solar lunar spectral sources for space sensor exclusion testing. The all-optical fiber supercontinuum laser system will be capable of efficiently generating the high solar lunar radiance over a broadband spectrum from the ultraviolet to the longwave infrared. The fiber optic design is the most compatible light delivery mechanism for cryogenic vacuum applications allowing precise control over stray light illumination and minimal environmental heating. The broadband illumination system projection optics will present the accurate solar and lunar angular extent while providing a uniformly illuminated work area for the sensor under test. OSC’s approach also incorporates a novel concept for hyperspectrally modulating the spectrum to support modeling the natural solar and lunar spectrums as well as more complex spectral signatures for Earth albedo, planets, stars, and various atmospheric transmission profiles. BENEFIT: The product resulting at the end of the Phase II research will be a supercontinuum laser system capable of simulation of the solar lunar spectral radiance for testing space sensors. Supercontinuum lasers and systems have an enormous range of applications where broadband light is used. Supercontinuum emissions have the advantages of broad spectrums with versatility of coherent laser beam radiation. The proposed SC laser system product could replace solar simulator systems using Xeon arc-lamps. This is a growing market with greater interest in solar energy and research. Optical Sciences Corporation believes there are multiple avenues of commercial potential for a solar simulator in the different wavebands other than space sensor testing applications. Other potential applications include infrared counter-measures, remote sensing, optical coherence tomography, real-time optical metrology, optical tissue ablation, and spectroscopy. Optical Sciences Corporation has demonstrated an ability to transition technologies developed under SBIR programs into commercial sales through the successful marketing and sales of micromirror dynamic infrared scene projection products.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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