ROANOKE, Va .– (BUSINESS WIRE) – Luna Innovations (NASDAQ: LUNA), a global leader in advanced optical technology, today announced that it has successfully designed, qualified and built a RIO® narrow-width semiconductor laser to be used in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ) LiDAR navigation Doppler (light detection and range) system. The selection of Luna’s RIO laser highlights Luna’s unique capabilities in developing and manufacturing robust, high-quality semiconductor lasers for new applications such as LiDAR.
LiDAR Navigation Doppler (NDL) is being developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. LiDAR is a remote sensing method that helps determine the exact speed and position of a spacecraft that helps land on a desired location on planetary surfaces. Using laser beams directed from the LiDAR system toward the surface, the detected air reflections are processed to determine in which direction the spacecraft is moving, how far the surface is, and how fast the vehicle is moving toward the surface.
“To accurately measure vehicle speed, direction, and distance, our NDL system uses both Doppler shift and laser beam travel time, which requires a highly stable single-frequency laser source,” said Farzin Amzajerdian, chief NDL researcher at NASA’s Langley Research Center. . “Luna Innovations’ RIO laser has met NASA’s requirements for high reliability, low noise and ultra-narrow line width.”
“Luna Innovations is immensely proud to play a role in US space programs and is excited about RIO’s continued collaboration with NASA,” said Scott Graeff, president and CEO of Luna Innovations. “Finally, the goal of the NDL is to safely land the next man and first woman on the Moon in 2024, and we are proud to play a role in this historic effort.”
The RIO laser, originally designed for ground-based applications such as distributed optical reading and measurement, has passed a successful series of rigorous qualification tests that confirm its suitability for use on spacecraft. In October 2020, a RIO laser was launched into space on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket as part of NASA’s Precision Lunar Landing Technology demonstration. The NDL sensor will be operated in two commercial lunar cargo missions (CLPS) to land robotic vehicles on the Moon later this year and early 2022.
About the moon
Luna Innovations (NASDAQ: LUNA) is a leader in optical technology, dedicated to providing its customers with unique capabilities in sensor manufacturing, measurement, testing and control based on fiber optics for aerospace, transportation, infrastructure, security, process management, communications, silicon photonics, defense and the automotive industry, among others. Luna is organized into two business segments, which work closely together to turn ideas into products: Lightwave and Luna Labs. Enabling the future with fiber, Luna’s business model is designed to accelerate the process of bringing new and innovative technologies to market. www.lunainc.com
RIO, now part of Luna Innovations, based in Santa Clara, California, develops and manufactures optical sources and subsystems based on its own planar laser technology with an external cavity (PLANEX (), which provides unique prices and benefits in energy, security , infrastructure, metrology and other markets. RIO’s product lines include 1550nm narrow-width single-frequency lasers and modules with very low noise, unmatched wavelength stability, low cost, small size, low power dissipation and telecom lifecycle reliability. www. rio-lasers.com