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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

3D Flash LIDAR Space Laser

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

3D Flash LIDAR Space Laser
Advanced Scientific Concepts, Inc. (ASC) is a small business that has developed 3D Flash LIDAR systems for space and terrestrial applications. 3D Flash LIDAR is ideal for determining real-time spacecraft trajectory, speed and orientation to the planet's surface, as well as evaluating potential landing sites. Flash LIDAR sensors utilize a 3DFPA and rely on the illumination of a 10nsec pulse from a diode pumped solid state (DPSSL) q-switched Nd:YAG laser. Improvements in pulse shape and stability are crucial to improve range resolution for higher resolution landing maps. ASC is proposing an innovative approach to the laser and thermal management to meet NASAs requirement for a compact, robust planetary landing sensor. An innovative approach for an optically triggered "semi-active" q-switch will allow for increased power stability in a very compact laser design. The semi-active fused q-switch will eliminate the need for a mechanical or electro optical q-switch by actively bleaching the passive q-switch with a laser diode. The advantage of the Cr4:YAG crystal over active q-switches is that it can be fused directly onto the YAG laser rod creating a monolithic laser cavity reducing the number of coated surfaces and the overall size. More »

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