TITLE: 3-Band PicoSecond High Energy Compact (SWaP) Laser System for Marine Wave Boundary Layer Atmospheric Characterization Instrument Development
Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: NAVSEA
073, Undersea Technology
OBJECTIVE: Develop a
3-wavelength band (Ultra Violet (250 nm), Visible (500 nm), Near infrared (1
um) Pulsed Fiber Laser System for Marine Wave Boundary Layer Atmospheric
DESCRIPTION: The Navy seeks
technology that is oriented toward a deeper experimental and theoretical
understanding of maritime turbulence and laser light propagation in the marine
boundary. Ocean evaporation is occurring within a very thin molecular layer at
the surface. However, there are indications that turbulent structures in the
ocean and atmospheric mixing layers play a critical role in determining the
water vapor flux. Current measurement techniques, such as Doppler Velocimetry
(LDV) technique, are limited to resolutions of 0.5 meters or greater and fall
short of the required millimeter level resolution. A new type of spectral
imaging modality and instrumentation is required that will increase our
understanding of ocean evaporation and lead to better tools for measuring and
modeling the near-marine boundary layer for optical and radio frequency Naval
applications. This generalized understanding will significantly enhance beam
optic directors, adaptive optics, and other turbulence mitigating techniques to
enhance the reach and effectiveness of communication and defensive and
offensive laser light engagement in the marine boundary layer.
The overall objectives of this STTR topic are to: 1) develop a system capable
of measuring atmospheric turbulence near the ocean surface (0 to 60 feet), 2)
develop models that can predict turbulent effects given a set of atmospheric
and marine surface conditions, such as surface temperature, humidity, pressure,
wind speed, wave, fog etc., that can effects marine wave boundary layer
atmosphere and 3) develop a metrological instrument based on Raman light
detection and ranging (LIDAR). A 3-band laser is an attractive solution
offering high power across 3 octaves from the near-IR (NIR) to the Deep
Ultraviolet (DUV). Such a multi-wavelength laser offers unique capabilities
that allow measurement and modeling of key elements of the near surface marine
layer by enabling the accurate fitting to Rayleigh and Mie scattering models
from simultaneous analysis of 3 wavelengths. Adapting existing models or
creating new physics-based models using data retrieved from the 3-band compact
Raman laser system, at picosecond pulse in each band at minimum 1 mJ per pulse
energy at 1 kHz repetition rate has the potential to enhance substantially Navy
capabilities for deployed high power lasers operating the marine environment.
The potential source will the based on the mature fiber laser technology and
will make possible compact and power efficient laser systems capable of
producing simultaneous UV, visible, and IR radiation at sufficient pulse
energy, repetition rate, pulse width, and average power to characterize
relevant maritime environments. The platform laser technology should be
amenable to the development of a 3-band Raman laser system with Size, Weight,
and Power (SWaP) for the integration into submarine sail and cost to facilitate
widespread deployment as metrological tool for marine wave boundary atmospheric
characterization. The 3-band laser also is the part of High Energy Laser (HEL)
closed loop circuits to control the HEL beam on target. The proposed 3-band
picosecond Raman laser shall be able to integrate into HEL system for target
ranging and detection.
It is expected that the application will require a laser system with
performance at or exceeding greater than 10W of average power in each band (UV,
VIS, IR), pulse energies greater than 1 mJ, temporal pulse width of less than 1
ns for suitable ranging, pulse repetition rates between 1 kHz and at most 5
kHz, and a stable, narrow laser bandwidth of a few wavenumbers or less
sufficient to distinguish Raman lines. Laser frequency drift (mitigated by
stabilization schemes) may also be of concern at system level. At present to no
such system is available to characterize the atmosphere simultaneously in all
above three bands.
PHASE I: Develop a concept
for a laser system based on model based engineering (MBE) as described in the
Description. Demonstrate the feasibility of that concept through laser
architecture modeling, simulation, and theoretical calculation. Ensure that the
laser is capable of delivering producing greater than 10 W of average power in
each band in stable picoseconds, with conversion efficiency in the high-power
amplifier of approximately 45% including the combined loss and the unabsorbed
pump. Show the laser emitted spectrum of the amplified pulses at different
output powers at 3 separate band. Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option,
if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities
description to build a 3-band picosecond Raman laser prototype solution based
on MBE in Phase II.
PHASE II: Develop and deliver
a prototype of a 3-band picosecond Raman laser system based on the concept
developed in Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW). Work with the
Government to develop the test criteria for the prototype 3-band laser system.
Deliver a 3-band laser system to the Navy for the evaluation of performance and
further characterization for the purpose of Raman back scattering to
characterize atmospheric, temperature, pressure, and humidity. Support the Navy
for validation and additional testing to be qualified and certified for Navy
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS:
Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy submarine platforms as
a metrological tool for marine wave boundary data collection.
3-Band picosecond Raman laser technology shall have both commercial and DoD
applications. This technology can improve a commercial ship’s localized weather
condition prediction and update the weather software for safe operation—thereby
improving LIDAR detection for range at day, night, and all-weather operations
for both commercial and DoD applications.
1. Katz, Richard A. and
Manzur, Tariq. "Laser beam propagation through an atmospheric transitional
and turbulent boundary layer", Proc. SPIE 9456, Sensors, and Command,
Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security,
Defense, and Law Enforcement XIV, 945615 (May 23, 2015).
2. Hufnagel, R. E. and
Stanley, N. R. “Modulation Transfer Function Associated with Image Transmission
through Turbulent Media”, J. Opt. Soc. Am., 54, 52-61 (1964).
3. Wasiczko Thomas, Linda M.,
Moore, Chistopher I., Burris, Harris R., Suite, Michele, Smith Jr., Walter
Reed, and Rabinovich, William. “NRL's Research at the Lasercomm Test Facility:
Characterization of the Maritime Atmosphere and Initial Results in Analog AM
Lasercomm”, Proc. SPIE, 6951, Atmospheric Propagation V, 69510S (April 18,
KEYWORDS: Raman LIDAR;
Meteorological Instrumentation; Laser Beam Propagation; Maritime Environment;
Turbulent Boundary Layer; 3-band Raman Laser System; picosecond Laser, 10-12
** TOPIC NOTICE **
These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.A STTR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.1 BAA STTR pre-release on November 28, 2018, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2019, and closes February 6, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.
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