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SBIR/STTR

High-Efficiency, High-Power Laser Transmitter for Deep-Space Communication, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

High-Efficiency, High-Power Laser Transmitter for Deep-Space Communication, Phase II
There is demand for vastly improved deep space satellite communications links. As data rates dramatically increase due to new sensor technologies and the desire to pack even more sensors on spacecraft, it is imperative that new solutions be compact in size, light in weight, be high speed, and highly power efficient. NASA has recognized optical links offer potential improvements in power and in size due to a substantially narrower beam and smaller components. An ideal technology for such links is a laser transmitter master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) using pulse position modulation techniques. In Phase I, a design was developed for a laser transmitter MOPA with a wall-plug efficiency of up to 23% operating at 1560nm. Operating at longer wavelength offers a number of advantages including the use of numerous off-the-shelf components. This Phase II proposal will demonstrate a working prototype of the design at a Technology Readiness Level 4 by the end of the program. More »

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