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2 Micron Wavelength Coherent Universal LIDAR With Adjustable Resolution and Sensitivity, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Discovery Semiconductors and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories have teamed together to design a Universal LIDAR system that will work for NASA's diverse range of applications. We propose a fiber-based, self-heterodyne LIDAR, at 2050 nm wavelength, whose transmitted optical signal is modulated by a 10 Gbps programmable pseudo-random (PRN) sequence. The LIDAR's resolution and sensitivity will be tuned by choosing the appropriate PRN sequence. A PRN length of 1 will provide the finest resolution of 1.5 cm with 1 uW sensitivity. Increasing the PRN length to 100,000 will improve the sensitivity to 10 pW for 1.5 km resolution. Several NASA applications will be covered by the new innovation including: 1) Thermometry and spectroscopy of rocket plumes and jet engine flames with cm scale resolution, 2) Laser Doppler Velocimetry in Hypersonic wind tunnels up to Mach 20, 3) Navigational LIDARs for planetary landing mission that need velocity and altitude measurements with sub-meter accuracy, 4) Clear air turbulence measurements having 10 m or higher resolution, and 5) Space based wind LIDAR for environmental sensing having 1 km resolution. Our Phase I work will result in detailed LIDAR design, which will be corroborated by experimental demonstration of resolution-sensitivity trade. More »

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