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Mercerville, NJ, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.99K | Year: 2015

The overall objective of this program is to develop an innovative laser based ignition system to reliably ignite fuel-air mixtures during lean-burn combustion in gasoline engines. In this SBIR the new technology of high power vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) pumped solid state lasers developed at Princeton Optronics (PO) is used to develop reliable laser ignition systems for gasoline engines. VCSELs are highly reliable and capable of high temperature operation making them very well suited for ignition systems for automobile engines. In phase I a first version of the igniter was designed, built, and thoroughly tested at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in a Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine. Based on the test results a full prototype will be developed in phase II that meets all the specifications required for successful demonstration and commercialization of the laser - igniter for the automobile engines. Laser ignition using microlasers will be one of the enabling technologies for the next generation of automotive engines that will have very high engine efficiencies and ultra-low NOx emissions. Moreover, this technology is likely to be a key player in the adaptation of alternate fuels, such as, natural gas, methanol, etc. Overall this technology is poised to substantially reduce our gasoline consumption and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. On account of its better performance under challenging and hard to ignite combustion conditions, laser ignition is gaining in popularity and acceptance in other fields of propulsion and energy conversion - engines used for stationary power generation, high-altitude gas turbines, hypersonic aircraft, and rocket ignition. When fully developed the associated public benefits are going to be very tangible.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.99K | Year: 2015

Navy needs UVA laser modules with three wavelengths with >3W fiber coupled power output. Princeton Optronics proposes a frequency doubling approach which they use for high efficiency frequency doubling of VCSEL output. This would work at UVA wavelengths with PPLN and LBO materials as frequency doublers. In phase I, Princeton Optronics wants to demonstrate frequency doubling at 400nm wavelength and in phase II demonstrate doubling at other wavelengths and build the fiber coupled module as Navy requires.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2015

Statement of the problem or situation that is being addressed through phase I of the proposal: High performance optical networks are needed by DOE and commercial entities. The high performance optical networks need higher speed (>100Gb/s), low power consumption lasers. The proposed approach addresses that need. General statement of how this problem is being addressed. The objectives of phase I is to demonstrate the feasibility of a proposed concept which use a new architecture for device design and demonstrate low capacitance and resistance for the laser device to dramatically reduce the RC time constant for the device and increase the speed of the devices. What is to be done in phase I? In phase I we would design and fabricate the devices out of our existing wafers and measure capacitance reduction with the approach proposed. In addition we would measure the resistance of the grating component to be used for the device in phase II and measure the resistance. We would thereby demonstrate the resistance and capacitance reduction with the proposed approach and do the device simulation with the measured numbers and demonstrate with the simulation that ultra-high speed laser devices can be developed in phase II. In phase I, we would also design a practical high speed laser device which will be fabricated in phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The high speed >100Gb/s laser devices would have applications in high speed optical networks, data centers, and active optical cables. According to a recent market report, the market for high speed lasers for such applications is currently are growing at a rate of >30% and the market will be $650M by 2017. For DOE, high speed lasers are critically needed for high performance computing applications as well as for many other systems. Key Words: High Speed lasers, VCSEL, High performance optical networks, high speed VCSEL, optical networks Summary for Members of Congress: In this SBIR, Princeton Optronics would apply its laser expertise to develop, ultra-high speed lasers which are needed by DOE and commercial entities for high performance computing, high speed optical networks, data centers and active optical cables. The approach would improve the performance as well as reduce the power consumption of the optical networks.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2014

Navy needs improved reliability ignition systems for aerospace engines to reduce flameouts at high altitudes as well as reduce maintenance cost because of the need to frequently replace the conventional spark plug igniters for fuel ignition in the engines. Laser ignition, whose feasibility has been demonstrated in the past decade for conventional natural gas and gasoline engines is very well suited for ignition in the aircraft engines. They would be very reliable and would reduce the spark plug related repairs needed for the aircraft engines. They would also reduce engine flameout and reduce the relight time for the engines, improve the fuel efficiency and reduce the NOx emissions. The new technology of high power VCSEL pumps and VCSEL pumped solid state lasers developed at Princeton Optronics is finding application towards laser spark plugs for automobile and natural gas engine applications. Princeton Optronics wants to use this technology to make laser ignition systems for aerospace engines. In phase I, the feasibility of the approach will be studied and in phase II a prototype will be built and tested.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.97K | Year: 2014

A new ignition concept is needed for lean-burn combustion in gasoline engines. The approach should extend the lean ignition limit air/fuel ratio to & gt; 20, to enable reliable ignition under high in-cylinder pressures (up to 100 bar at the time of ignition) thus enabling high load operation, operation under high levels of exhaust gas recirculation, and lower or maintain ignitability (coefficient of variance of IMEP & lt; 3%). The objectives of phase I would be to develop a laser igniter for advanced automobile engines. Our goal would be to first define the specifications of the laser igniter to be developed. We would then design and build a laser igniter in and test it very thoroughly at Argonne National Laboratory. The major objectives of testing will be determining optimal laser pulse energy, number of pulses required per combustion cycle, time spacing between pulses, thermal load in the spark plug well, and other such parameters through single-cylinder engine tests. In phase II, we would develop a more advanced laser igniter and test it thoroughly for all the relevant parameters. In phase I, we would first define the specifications of the laser igniter to be developed in phase II of the program. We would then design the laser igniter to be developed in phase I and order the of the optical, mechanical and thermal components. Next we would do the optical bench test and verification of the solid state laser design and build the the laser ignition module. We would then test the laser igniter in a single-cylinder engine at Argonne National Lab. Finally, we would do the design for the improved laser igniters to be built in phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The laser igniters would have near term high volume applications in automobile engines. In addition to automobile engines, it will have applications in natural gas power generation engines and other types of power generation engines such as those using biogas. In future it will have applications for natural gas truck engines and aerospace engines.

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