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Ultra-Compact Slow-Light Enhanced Multiband Spectral Interferometer, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

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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