NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) encompasses research in the areas of Astrophysics, Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Planetary Science. A major objective of SMD instrument development programs is to implement science measurement capabilities with smaller or more affordable spacecraft so development programs can meet multiple mission needs and therefore make the best use of limited resources. This proposed near 2 micron tunable narrow linewidth single frequency fiber laser can be used as innovative lidar component for measurements of the atmosphere and surface topography of the Earth, Mars, the Moon, and other planetary bodies. Because it is fiber based, this single frequency laser is compact, efficient, and extremely reliable.
Near 2 micron tunable single frequency fiber lasers have a number of potential non-NASA commercial applications. This eye-safe laser source can be used to build commercial lidar for ranging and surface topography applications, be used as the light source for fiber optical sensing, fast scanning biomedical imaging, and scientific research.