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Troy, NY, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2009

A compact, broadband terahertz source using optical parametric processes in laser-induced gas plasma is capable to produce >10 mW average terahertz power with a spectral range from 0.1 THz to over 10 THz. This technique has already demonstrated strong field strength (>100 kV/cm), and generated THz waves at 10m distance with a field strength comparable to local generation, suggesting that remote THz sensing (>30m) is possible without problems from signal attenuation due to atmospheric turbulence or water vapor. Using an optical phase compensator, a gas cell, and an amplified femtosecond laser, we will advance the current average power from tens of μW to mW level with a bandwidth over 10 THz. The resulting compact source will be coupled with our THz-ABCD heterodyne detector for applications in defense & security, pharmaceutical and industrial inspection. BENEFIT: Stand-off detection of explosives and related compounds, Pharmaceutical diagnostics for drug development and process control, Advanced Research and Development of THz Nonlinear Spectroscopy at National Labs and Universities.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 590.00K | Year: 2009

This NSF Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project proposes to develop a compact THz-ABCD (air-biased coherent- detection). spectrometer based on a new technique for generating and measuring ultra-broadband THz waves utilizing a laser induced plasma in ambient air and selected gases. A focused optical pulse with >100 uJ pulse energy and 300 kV/cm), highly-directional (


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2009

We propose to design and build a miniaturized pulsed terahertz (THz) spectrometer weighing less than 3.5 lbs, capable of real-time stand-off detection and identification of explosives and related compounds. The bandwidth of the THz system spans from 0.1 THz to 4 THz, and full waveform acquisition speeds up to 100 Hz. The room-temperature balanced detection system is one of the most sensitive THz wave receivers with a noise equivalent power less than 10-16 W/Hz^1/2. This system provides a dynamic range larger than 10,000, and real time spectral measurement. The miniaturized THz system consists of an ultra-compact THz source, a balanced photonic detector, and a novel time delay stage. They are integrated with a specially designed optical and THz optical system. Benefiting from the compact, lightweight and highly efficient fiber laser, the size of the THz source in the THz system will be less than 90 cubic inches, and the weight including power supply will be less than 3.5 pounds. The pulsed THz wave emitter will be an optimized photoconductive antenna. Its high energy conversion efficiency promises a peak THz power over 1 Watt even with a low-power fiber laser as the excitation source.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 744.88K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: The emergence of a diverse selection of new high-power terahertz sources has highlighted the critical need for a calibrated, independent, broadband terahertz spectrum analyzer. Present spectrum analyzers work at either microwave frequencies or in the far infrared, and only source specific detection mechanisms are available, limiting broad comparison and classification. The characterization of high power sources is essential as the health impact (if any) of such devices is investigated, and the classification of these devices based on power frequency distribution by an independent and common spectrum analyzer is essential for side-by-side comparison. We propose to implement a true THz spectrum analyzer using a rapidly scanning circular involute delay line coupled with a high speed broadband pyroelectric detector in a modified Michelson interferometer configuration. During phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of this approach coupled with both pulsed and CW THz sources. In phase II, we will realize a compact (12"x8"x5"), real-time (>5 Hz), broadband (>10THz), high resolution (<10GHz) THz spectrum analyzer. Development will include several field tests at high power THz sources of interest to the Air Force, and a calibration process will be established to insure robust source classification, regardless of emission mechanism or output power. BENEFIT: The resulting THz spectrum analyzer will be a useful diagnostic tool for new THz sources and as a calibration tool for existing sources. We anticipate as commercial applications become available for THz systems, this will be an essential tool for the calibration, lifecycle measurement and maintenance of THz sources and systems.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: We propose to demonstrate a THz spectrum analyzer using a innovative, high speed involute delay stage in a Michelson interferometer configuration coupled to a Glow Discharge Detector (GDD). Compared to traditional linear stages, the involute stage offers a superior linear response, 1,000 times faster than traditional linear stages, and a more compact footprint. The involute interferogram measured by the GDD is converted via fourier transform to the spectral distrubution of the externally supplied unknown THz source. The spectral sensitivity of the system is determined by the GDD, which has the potential to be a broadband (>10 THz), fast (~MHz), and sensitive (Noise Equivalent Power NEP-<10^-10 W/Hz1/2). The GDD THz detector works at room temperature, and is also compact and inexpensive to fabricate. Zomega Terahertz Corp., in cooperation with the Center for Terahertz Research at RPI, has experience in the development and commercialization of compact THz devices. Zomega will integrate the GDD and the circular involute with the necessary control and display electronics in order to provide a compact, robust, user-friendly spectrum analyzer. BENEFIT: The resulting THz spectrum analyzer will be a useful diagnostic tool for new THz sources and as a calibration tool for existing sources. We anticipate as commercial applications become available for THz systems, this will be an essential tool for the calibration, lifecycle measurement and maintenance of THz sources and systems.

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