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Center Innovation Fund: GSFC CIF

Ultrafast Laser Material Processing: Welding, Drilling, and Waveguide Inscription

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This CIF represents an initial effort to leverage current university-based research for an advanced, micron level manufacturing technique suitable for sensors and miniature components for instruments. Key to this process is tight control of an Ultrafast (150 femtosecond) laser. This technique also has a direct path to enhancing the new and exciting area of photonics integrated circuits (PIC). Future opportunities such as ESTO’s ACT, IIP, EVIs, EVM’s, Planetary Sciences’ PIDD, MatiSSE, New Frontiers, Discovery, etc. will require more advanced laser instrumentation to meet their science requirements. These systems would, for example, need new wavelengths for generation via nonlinear optical frequency conversion, addition of a highly sophisticated PIC to realize tunable/single frequency laser sources, and “optical features” such as volume Bragg gratings that act as end reflectors or spectral control mechanism in laser resonator. This new laser fabrication technology could be instrumental in enabling such developments. PICs would help in integration of electro-optics components in a small package thus reducing size, weight and power (SWaP) for resource-limited missions. Near term goals are to demonstrate glass-to-metal welding and micromachining shortly thereafter. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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