Mercerville, NJ, United States
Mercerville, NJ, United States

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Patent
Princeton Optronics, Inc. | Date: 2016-05-27

A high efficiency optical ignition device is provided in a two-part compact and robust package to be mounted directly on an internal combustion engine chamber. The ignition device ignites a combustion fuel with a high intensity plasma generated by a high power laser beam from a solid state laser operable in Q-switched, or non-Q-switched mode for producing short or long pulses, respectively. Multiple pulses are generated, and duration and frequency of the laser beam pulses are controlled by controlling an optical pump module to pump the solid state laser. The optical pump module comprises a semiconductor laser, preferably a VCSEL device. One or more laser beams are precisely directed, each one to a desired location anywhere within the combustion chamber for more efficient and near complete burning of the combustion fuel. The robust packaging is well suited to withstand mechanical and thermal stresses of the internal combustion engine.


Patent
Princeton Optronics, Inc. | Date: 2016-02-27

A miniature structured light illuminator is provided. The miniature structured light illuminator uses a semiconductor surface emitting array including VCSEL or RC-LED array and an array of microlens elements to generate a wide range of structured light illumination patterns. The emission beam from a surface emitter array may be selectively directed, steered, focused or expanded, by applying a lateral displacement of the microlens array, such that centers of the emission beam and microlens array are misaligned. Emitted beams may be directed through small optical components to project the structured light pattern to a distant plane. The surface emitting arrays may be configured in addressable form to be activated separately for continuous or pulsed operation with very fast pulses having <100 ps risetime. A compact structured light illuminator module with projection optics is provided in very small physical size (663 mm^(3)) suitable to configure in a handheld device.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.47K | Year: 2015

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 toward laser spark plugs for automobile and natural gas engine applications. Princeton Optronics studied the feasibility of laser ignition in phase I and proposes to develop the prototype in phase II.


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.


Patent
Princeton Optronics, Inc. | Date: 2015-01-21

An apparatus (710) and a method are provided for 3-D proximity sensing, imaging and scanning using a 2-D planar VCSEL array source (730) using reflected radiation from an object (720) being detected. An important feature of the apparatus (710) is a compact high power optical source and in particular, an optical source (730) comprising a plurality of VCSELs to illuminate the object (720). VCSELs in the optical source are configured in different 2-D planar arrangements, such that the optical source may be used in many different modes to adapt to different sensing, imaging and scanning requirement suited for different environments including one where shape, size and illumination mode require to be altered dynamically. When used in different modes of operation the apparatus (710) provides a comprehensive set of measured distance and intensity profile of the object (720) to compute a 3-D image.


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 Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.98K | Year: 2016

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 in usable optical modules format. The proposed approach addresses that need. The objectives of phase I are to demonstrate the feasibility of optical modules using 100Gb/s single VCSELs. The proposed concept would use new components and lasers in a novel design. The modules will have 4x higher speed and 4x lower power consumption compared to current state of the art. In phase I Princeton Optronics would study the optical module concept and study the means by which the necessary components such as laser driver, detector and post amplifiers at 100Gb/s can be developed. The laser would be developed in Princeton Optronics. Princeton Optronics would design the optical modules for 400 and 1200Gb/s in the phase I. In phase I, Princeton Optronics would also develop a plan to develop all the optical components and build the optical module prototypes in phase II. The prototypes would be built in phase II. In this SBIR, Princeton Optronics would apply its laser expertise to develop ultra-high speed laser modules for 400 and 1200Gb/s using 100Gb/s VCSEL devices. These modules are needed by DOE and commercial entities for high performance computing, high speed optical networks, and data centers applications. Princeton Optronics’s approach would improve the performance as well as reduce the power consumption of the optical networks. 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 >25% and the market will be >$600M by 2018. For DOE, high speed lasers are critically needed for high performance computing applications as well as for many other systems.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2016

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.


Patent
Princeton Optronics, Inc. | Date: 2015-09-09

A structured light source comprising VCSEL arrays is configured in many different ways to project a structured illumination pattern into a region for 3 dimensional imaging and gesture recognition applications. One aspect of the invention describes methods to construct densely and ultra-densely packed VCSEL arrays with to produce high resolution structured illumination pattern. VCSEL arrays configured in many different regular and non-regular arrays together with techniques for producing addressable structured light source are extremely suited for generating structured illumination patterns in a programmed manner to combine steady state and time-dependent detection and imaging for better accuracy. Structured illumination patterns can be generated in customized shapes by incorporating differently shaped current confining apertures in VCSEL devices. Surface mounting capability of densely and ultra-densely packed VCSEL arrays are compatible for constructing compact on-board 3-D imaging and gesture recognition systems.


Patent
Princeton Optronics, Inc. | Date: 2015-04-29

A new VCSEL design is presented to achieve high output power and high brightness with a strong selection of a linear polarization state in high speed pulsing operation. Higher output power is achieved by including multiple gain segments in tandem, in the gain region. To achieve single mode operation with high output power, an extended cavity three reflector design is presented. High degree of polarization selectivity is achieved by a linear grating deployed with the third reflector, such that lasing is allowed only in a preferred linear polarization state. A polarization selective reflector including a linear grating is designed to impart strong polarization selectivity for a preferred linear polarization state. The polarization selective reflector used as the third reflector in an extended cavity VCSEL device, exhibits strong polarization selection for a preferred linear polarization state during high speed pulsing including in the gain switching resonance regime.

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