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Topsfield, MA, United States

Grant
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.64K | Year: 2011

"OPTRA proposes a Fourier transform phase shift cavity ring down spectroscopy (FT-PS-CRDS) system for high sensitivity detection of air toxic compounds. Our system operates in the 400-4000 cm-1 spectral range wherein lie vapor phase resonance bands for most air toxic compounds and hazardous chemicals; the spectral resolution is 4-16 cm-1, depending on the discrimination requirements. Our approach differs from previous FT-PS-CRDS systems as we have eliminated the external modulator and lock-in detection electronics. Historically, these systems measure a phase delay incurred by light traversing a resonant cavity; the phase delay is proportion to the product of the ring down time and modulation frequency. Instead we measure the spectrally dependent phase delay of the modulation frequencies imposed by the interferometer itself. Our approach is simpler than previous FT-PS-CRDS systems and represents a significant cost reduction without the external modulator. In addition this approach produces the entire FT-PS-CRDS spectra in a single rapid scan, making the technique truly real time and significantly faster than previous techniques. Based on radiometric projections, our FT-PS-CRDS system will be capable of ppb detection limits with an integration time of 1 second. Under the Phase I effort, we will design, build, and test a breadboard FT-PS-CRDS system operating in the 700-1400 cm-1 spectral range to establish the feasibility of the proposed approach. Phase II plans will include the extension of the spectral range and the development of a full scale prototype. The Phase II will also address automated multicomponent algorithms. Potential commercial applications include high sensitivity detection of air toxic compounds, chemical warfare agents, and other hazardous chemical, industrial monitoring, and environmental sensing. "


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:OPTRA is proposing to design, build and test a dual-band infrared scene projector based on digital micromirror device (DMD) technology. DMDs are an ideal spatial modulator for scene projection applications that require high frame rates and fast radiance rise/fall times. DMDs offer further advantages of applicability in the spectral regions from ultraviolet through mid-wave infrared, and are commercially available off-the-shelf items. During the Phase I effort, OPTRA developed an innovative means of using DMDs to generate flickerless grayscale images thereby effectively addressing a common criticism of this scene projection technology. Provisional specifications call for operation in the 3-5m spectral region with future extension into the visible region. The OPTRA scene projector will use innovative OPTRA techniques to eliminate the temporal intensity modulation associated with PWM. The Phase II prototype will offer >6-bits grayscale resolution, 22kHz frame rates, 300W/(cm2sr) pupil radiance and radiance rise and fall times on the order of several microseconds. The scene projector proposed herein will generate dynamic accurate simulations of operational scenes relevant to the testing of a wide array of sensors, with potential extension into next generation sensor test technology.BENEFIT:The scene projector proposed herein will be able to generate dynamic accurate simulations of operational scenes relevant to the testing of a wide array of sensors currently under development, with potential extension into next generation sensor test technology.


Grant
Agency: Department of Homeland Security | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 754.78K | Year: 2015

The widespread use and deployment of laser systems in the public domain has led to the need for laser exposure measurement systems that operate over wide spectral range and provide sufficient dynamic range to measure exposure relative to maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits and establish normal hazard zones (NHZ). OPTRA, Inc. proposes a solution based on multiple detector arrays, custom CMOS readout integrated circuitry and diffractive optics to directly measure the laser characteristics and evaluate the exposure with respect to MPE limits established by the ANSI Z136.1 standard and determine NHZ.. In the Phase II R&D effort, OPTRA, Inc. will design, develop, build and test a UV through LWIR laser NHZ measurement system.


Grant
Agency: Department of Homeland Security | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.85K | Year: 2014

The widespread use and deployment of laser systems has led to the need for laser exposure measurement systems that operate over wide spectral range and provide sufficient dynamic range to measure exposure relative to maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits and establish normal hazard zones. OPTRA, Inc. proposes a solution based on the complementary combination of CMOS readout integrated circuitry and diffractive optics to directly measure the laser characteristics and evaluate the exposure with respect to MPE limits established by the ANSI Z136.1 standard. In the Phase I R&D effort, OPTRA, Inc. will develop optical and electronics models, perform tradeoff analyses, predict system performance, and perform a laboratory demonstration to establish the feasibility of the proposed approach to meet the DHS requirements.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.82K | Year: 2015

NASA is interested characterizing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases critical to global warming phenomena, and their fluxes over time. For this reason, NASA has invested in the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON), which comprises sun trackers with high resolution Fourier Transform Spectrometers. NASA is currently looking to expand their observation network in order to provide more data for their atmospheric research, but this will require a reduction in spectrometer size and cost. OPTRA proposes to address this need through the development of a novel hybrid spectrometer design that leverages the strengths of Michelson and lamellar grating interferometers, while mitigating their individual weaknesses. The end result will be a compact, rugged, low cost spectrometer capable of the same performance as the current TCCON network. This technology will further be extendable to any applications where spectral data is required, but instrument size and cost are at a premium. Examples include methane pipeline monitoring, volcano emission characterization or UAV-based remote sensing.

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