MSU Physics optics group granted U.S. patent for laser frequency stabilization using transient spectral hole burning". (November 2003)
"MSU Physics optics group granted U.S. patent for laser frequency stabilization using
transient spectral hole burning" Laser frequency stabilizer using transient spectral
hole burning Inventors: Sellin; Peter B. (Bozeman, MT); Strickland; Nicholas M. (Lower
Hut, NZ); Carlsten; John L. (Bozeman, MT); Cone; Rufus L. (Bozeman, MT)
Techniques for stabilizing a laser at a selectable frequency include splitting an output beam from an electrically adjustable laser into a first beam and a second beam. The second beam is transmitted through a modulator. Then the second beam is transmitted through a transient spectral hole burning material onto a detector. The laser is electronically adjusted in response to a detector output from the detector which senses the changes in the modulated second beam after it passes through the transient spectral hole burning material.
Scientific Materials Corp. S2CHIP project featured in MDA newsletter (Fall 2003)
Optical Memory Materials to Allow Higher-Bandwidth Radar and Data Applications- FALL 2003 - ARTICLE #4308 http://www.mdatechnology.net/
Spectrum Lab Research featured in "MSU Research and Creative Activities Bulletin 2003-2004" (September 2003)
Group rethinks radar with lasers and crystals
By Annette Trinity-Stevens
Scientific Materials Corp receives contract from US Army SMDC; Spectrum Lab receives subcontract (September 2003)
Burns Announces S2-Chip Technology Contract
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) announced today the award of a contract
by the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, AL in the amount of
$1,531,000 for one year to Scientific Materials Corporation in Bozeman.
The S2-CHIP processes high bandwidth RF analog signals, such as those generated in radar systems, into low bandwidth digital signals, which can be analyzed by conventional low cost digital processing systems. It is believed this technology can substantially improve the capability of radar systems at reasonable costs. This technology has resulted from twenty years of research at MSU's Spectrum Lab, where it was developed using equipment and resources from Scientific Materials Corporation.
"This announcement is great news for our state and country alike," said Burns. "With Montana State University conducting cutting-edge research and Bozeman's Scientific Materials Corporation working on this kind of advanced technology, Montana is contributing significantly to the state of our nation's defense readiness," he continued. "Providing for our nation's defense and security is one of the most important jobs we have, and I will continue working to make sure Montana remains a vital part of that equation."
This is a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program generated from Scientific Materials Corporation's work on "Improved Materials for Optical Memories" with the Missile Defense Agency. The contract carries options to fund the development of the S2-CHIP technology over a five-year period. The potential total funding is $16 million.
Senator Burns is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, and also the Subcommittee on Defense.
S2-Chip Technology ContractI was pleased this week to announce the award of a contract by the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, AL in the amount of $1,531,000 for one year to Scientific Materials Corporation in Bozeman. The S2-CHIP processes high bandwidth RF analog signals, such as those generated in radar systems, into low bandwidth digital signals, which can be analyzed by conventional low cost digital processing systems. It is believed this technology can substantially improve the capability of radar systems at reasonable costs. This announcement is great news for our state and country alike. With Montana State University conducting cutting-edge research and Bozeman's Scientific Materials Corporation working on this kind of advanced technology, Montana is contributing significantly to the state of our nation's defense readiness," he continued. "Providing for our nation's defense and security is one of the most important jobs we have, and I will continue working to make sure Montana remains a vital part of that equation.
Bozeman high-tech firm gets $1.5 million defense contractBy Kayley Mendenhall, Chronicle Staff Write
Scientific Materials Corp. has signed a $1.5 million contract with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command to continue working on technology to make radar systems more precise.
"This is a result of about 12 years of joint research between Scientific Materials, from the materials aspect, and Montana State University, from the research aspect," said Ralph Hutcheson, CEO and president of the Bozeman-based laser component company.
The technology is called S2-Chip, which stands for Spatial-Spectral Coherent Holographic Integrating Processor. It uses a material made by his company and developed by the MSU spectrum lab to analyze high-bandwidth signals such as radar.
The spectrum lab, which is part of the physics department, will continue working as a subcontractor with Scientific Materials on this project for at least the next three years.
The contract could potentially last five years and total $16 million.
Hutcheson said funding for the second year is part of the defense budget making its way through Congress this fall. If all goes as planned, he expects to receive about $3.7 million per year for the last four years of the contract. "It's really great," said Cynthia Evans, acting director of the Gallatin Development Corp. "It really helps to solidify Bozeman's position as a promising high-tech area."
Scientific Materials employs 23 people in Bozeman. Hutcheson said the company plans to hire two or three more this year and 14 next year to work on this contract.
"The first year of the program most of the money goes to MSU to continue their studies on the program and to put the thing together into a demonstratable system," Hutcheson explained.
"In year two and three, we'll finish up the laboratory scale model and build the prototype unit. We will have a prototype by the end of year three," he said.
In the fourth and fifth years, Hutcheson said Scientific Materials will focus on building a production unit. The company has been working to secure the contract for about six months.
"We actually have a signed contract on our hands," he said. "We're ready to start work."
Spectrum Lab Researchers Apply for Patent (May 2003)PCT application filed for "Techniques for Processing High Time-Bandwidth Signals Using a Material with Inhomogeneously Broadened Spectrum", May 2003.
Kristian D. Merkel
R. Krishna Mohan
W. Randall Babbitt
Kelvin H. Wagner
MSU Spectrum Lab receives positive review from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Review Board for Montana State University (May 2003)
Excerpts from: "AAAS Review of Materials Science Programs at Montana State University
Final Report of the External Review Team", May, 2003.
"The development of the process for this review was collaborative between AAAS staff and Dr. Spangler, with the participation of the faculty of the departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)."
"Overall, the review panel was highly impressed with the materials science and nanotechnology initiatives in place at MSU. The high quality of the faculty and their collaborations were evident during our visit, as was their commitment to the students at MSU. The user facilities and equipment were also of the highest quality."
We saw Spectrum Lab as a relatively mature research project with a highly visible effort in building the S2CHIP and in furthering its applications. The new leadership in this group seems to have brought it to a well-focused and well-funded effort. With funding from the military and industry, this looks like good, quality, directed work that has potential to be a useful technology. Again, it is important that any organizational structure within MSU support the efforts of these visionary researchers."
The optics and materials research at MSU needs more visibility, especially so that its niche programs are seen on a national and international level. One approach is to solicit publicity for an umbrella group like OpTeC.
Another approach is for each of the focus groups, such as NIRT and Spectrum Lab, to obtain assistance in promoting their research efforts. This may mean listing one's group affiliation ahead of one's departmental affiliation on publications, business cards, letterheads, etc. "Experience has taught us that this can promote high visibility that attracts students, new faculty, funding, etc."
"3. What are the interactions, partnerships, and collaborations on and off campus that could provide synergistic growth? For example, what are some recommendations regarding possible interactions with existing nanotechnology centers, etc.
The panel was impressed with the great number of collaborations with companies including Scientific Materials, ASiMI, ARCOMAC, AdvR, Resonan, Ligocyte, Advanced Research, Quantum Design, Zoot Enterprises, Fuel Cell Technologies, Montana Biotech, IBM Almaden, IBADEX, Matsushita, NRL, Apex Biochemicals, Pleotint, and Gallatin Research. Most of these firms are local and thus contribute to the local economy. It is also good to see technology spinoffs with the founding of startups MPA Technologies and SensoPath Technologies. If desired, one avenue for more collaboration with industry both inside and outside of Montana can be obtained by posting to relevant Web newsgroups requests for collaborative SBIRs, STTRs, and other initiatives."
"8. Evaluate our capability to be nationally competitive in a well selected niche or niches.
The panel feels that MSU has the capacity and is on a path to achieve this next level of competitiveness. NIRT and the Spectrum Lab are both poised to achieve this level of competitiveness. Probably certain areas of OpTeC are also well positioned, but it will require a bit of time for one or two focus centers to emerge from OpTeC in appropriate areas. In addition some faculty within OpTeC will most likely emerge as natural leaders."
Spectrum Lab receives MBRCT funding for S2CHIP (November 2002)
Spatial Spectral Coherent Holographic Integrating Processor - S2-CHIP: Device Characterization, Performance Evaluation and Optimization (Montana State University - Bozeman)
The Spectrum Lab at Montana State University and Scientific Materials Corporation of Bozeman have collaborated on the development of an optics-based device to improve the performance of signal processing for conventional radar, laser radar, radio astronomy and other applications. The Spectrum Lab developed the device, called the S2-CHIP, under a grant funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1999. The S2-CHIP can be used for complex signal processing applications such as locating a transmitting source in high-noise environments. The projected real time processing performance of the S2-CHIP for range-Doppler radar systems far surpasses conventional electronic systems in terms of bandwidth and resolution while significantly reducing capital costs, size, and power consumption. The Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology is providing funding to assist in rigorous device characterization, performance evaluation and optimization of the S2-CHIP for commercialization in the near future. Potential customers include military and civilian agencies with interests in monitoring air and space for physical objects, atmospheric conditions or electromagnetic sources.