Laser-Directed Ranging Systems for Telerobotics Applications (MSC-22431)

NASA's latest work uses fiber Bragg gratings to fine tune laser diode wavelengths, and has proven very productive in reducing size and cost while boosting performance of prototype spectrometer systems. Many types of systems - commercial spectrometers, lidar, and non-invasive medical instruments - can also realize these benefits. The market for these systems is rapidly expanding, and this fine tuned laser diode technology will further that expansion.

The latest systems developed and tested at NASA involve laser diodes, fiber Bragg gratings that are temperature tuned, and optical amplifiers. These systems represent a combination of the best available technologies, providing improvements in performance, size, and cost.

While the NASA lab prototypes have concentrated on atmospheric measurements, the range of commercial applications is wide. In particular, this technology may benefit the medical instrumentation field by providing the capability for non-invasive blood substrate measurements, such as a hand-held device measuring glucose levels in diabetics.

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