The key value of the volume manufacturing capability on the orbital platform of ISS through the proposed effort is the unique opportunity to kick start the commercially driven expansion of the humanity in space through the profit based utilization of the abundant resource of microgravity for material processing. The developed logistics, infrastructure, and operational experience of remote orbital manufacturing will be critically important for sustainable orbital presence and further expansion of in-space science and technology. The approach will leverage existing ISS facilities to extend NASA leadership in facilitating commercial space exploration. The resulting new glass materials with wide transmission range from ultraviolet to midwave infrared and optical fibers will set the platform for novel optical devices and systems for remote sensing and communications as well as novel fiber laser systems with high standard of safety, reliability and affordability.
The opportunity to expand the highly reliable and efficient all-fiber laser sources into ultraviolet and midwave infrared spectral regions will dramatically widen the range of applications for industrial fiber lasers. The new applications will include environmental and health diagnostics, plastics processing, 3D printing and many others. The defense and security industry will benefit with improved detection of harmful substances and airplane protection from proliferating heat seeking missiles. The new applications that utilize the ?fingerprint? spectral range would allow to specifically target the desired chemical compositions in both surveillance and chemical processing. The promise to decrease the insertion loss by an order of magnitude compared to currently installed optical fibers will have revolutionary impact on internet expansion, optical communications and data storage.