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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Ultra-Compact Slow-Light Enhanced Multiband Spectral Interferometer

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Ultra-Compact Slow-Light Enhanced Multiband Spectral Interferometer, Phase I
Future NASA Earth science and Space missions will benefit from spectroscopic measurements made using compact, energy efficient and inexpensive instruments, which do not sacrifice performance compared to today�s instruments, but can be deployed on small-form-factor, energy-constrained platforms such as micro-satellites, airborne vehicles, and planetary rovers. Microtek Inc. will develop a multi-band spectrometer which provides high spectral resolution, comparable to that of a conventional Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, but more than a factor of ten thousand smaller in size and lighter in weight by leveraging recent advances in microphotonics technology, and replace the mechanically-controlled delay element of the conventional instrument by electrically-controlled phase shifters within microphotonic semiconductor waveguides for faster operation by a factor of one thousand. Underlying this device is the concept of slow-light in micro-photonic structures as demonstrated in scientific laboratories. By leveraging silicon wafer foundry processing, we will leverage scalable manufacturing for integrated photonics, and Microtek has demonstrated expertise in multi-chip packaging design and assembly previously used to develop micro-spectrometers and other compact instruments. More »

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