Miniature Ultraviolet (UV) Laser Source below 280 nanometers (nm)
Navy SBIR 2011.1 - Topic N111-029
NAVAIR - Mrs. Janet McGovern - email@example.com
Opens: December 13, 2010 - Closes: January 12, 2011
N111-029 TITLE: Miniature Ultraviolet (UV) Laser Source below 280 nanometers (nm)
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Sensors, Battlespace
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMA-272, Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems
OBJECTIVE: Design, develop and validate critical hardware for a miniature UV laser source at wavelengths below 280 nm.
DESCRIPTION: A UV laser source would target several important DoD applications to counter hostile fire identification (HFI) and degraded visual environments (DVE) by providing superior Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and three-dimensional (3D) imaging through smoke, dust and smog while also supporting helicopter survivability during brownout conditions.
This topic addresses the development of the UV sources at wavelengths below 280 nm, which should be operated in continuous wave (CW) and pulsed mode with duration of 2-5 nanoseconds (ns). A number of approaches to the development of a miniature UV laser source have already been suggested but they all have limitations. UV laser source development utilizing semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) is a possibility but the technology is not mature enough. Another conventional approach is to shift the wavelength towards shorter wavelengths. However, increasing the aluminum (Al) composition, in AlGaN, makes the laser source unrealizable. UV sources at less than 280 nm of wavelength can be developed through frequency doubling or quadrupling of lasers at longer wavelengths. Semiconductor or solid-state laser sources can be used for frequency doubling or quadrupling. Hardware packaging should not exceed 1 cubic inch. The laser source should deliver energies in the range of 0.04 millijoule (mJ) to 0.2 mJ at a pulse repetition rate 1-10 kHz with an approximate average power greater than 1 watt.
PHASE I: Determine the feasibility of developing a miniaturized UV light source with the performance parameters listed above. Use modeling and simulation to demonstrate the results.
PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I, build, test and validate a prototype of the miniaturized UV light source and test in a laboratory environment.
PHASE III: Manufacture three units of UV source lasers for a relevant environment. This iteration will be beyond bread board. Perform qualification tests in a relevant environment. Transition to appropriate platforms.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: UV light generation in laser form can illuminate fluorescence in paint markings, making them highly visible. This can be used in automobile headlights and aircraft landing lights to increase driver/pilot visibility. UV light can be bounced off atmospherics creating a non-line of sight communications path since light in the UV <280 nm scatters rather than being absorbed. Thus, increasing UV light intensities under this SBIR, creates an open market potential for the commercial and DoD developer.
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KEYWORDS: UV Laser Source; Degraded Visual Environment; Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR); Frequency Doubled Laser; Frequency Quadrupled Laser; Solar Blind Laser