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SEPTEMBER 2022 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 21 Finding water on the moon could be easier with a Goddard technology that uses quantum tunnel- ing to generate a high-powered terahertz laser, fill- ing a gap in existing laser technology. Goddard engineer Dr. Berhanu Bulcha said a heterodyne spectrometer could zoom in on par- ticular frequencies to identify water sources on the Moon. It would need a stable, high-powered, tera- hertz laser. Dr. Bulcha's team is developing quan- tum cascade lasers that produce photons from each electron transition event by taking advantage of some unique quantum-scale physics of materi- als layered just a few atoms thick. In these materials, a laser emits photons in a specific frequency determined by the thickness of alternating layers of semiconductors rather than the elements in the material. In quantum physics, the thin layers increase the chance that a photon can then tunnel through to the next layer instead of bouncing off the barrier. Once there, it excites additional photons. Using a generator material with 80 to 100 layers, totaling less than 10 to 15 microns thick, the team's source creates a cas- cade of terahertz-energy photons. The integrated laser and waveguide unit reduces dissipation by 50% in a package smaller than a quarter. Bulcha hopes to continue the work to make a flight-ready laser for NASA's Artemis program. (Source: NASA) NASA Engineer Develops Tiny, High- Powered Laser to Find Water on the Moon with before and have stood by their own quality processes. Digital tools continue to create a more transparent and connected supply chain. is allows more visibility into the inventory that exists in the supply chain, better planning, and less avenues for illegitimate products to enter. Hopefully the need for sourcing from potentially questionable sources will con- tinue reducing. Do you think there will be any "lessons learned" that we can benefit from aer this whole supply chain debacle is over? e frequency, duration, and magni- tude of supply chain "debacles" seems to be growing. Building resilience into the sup- ply chain will be important to addressing the impact these disruptions have. But building agility is just as important. Successful supply chain organizations will learn to respond ear- lier and with more agility to micro and macro events. is also shows the need for digitali- zation and innovation. rough better tech- nology and data sharing, we could have done a better job of predicting the shortages and responding to them. Even with a limited view into supply chain transactions, CalcuQuote's data analysts were able to foresee problems fairly early on. e CHIPS Act is an example of a lesson learned and applied. While it won't produce instant results, or soen the pains of today's market, it will help to avoid major con- cerns in future market shis. Any final thoughts on this topic? Although the last couple of years have been challenging, they have acceler- ated a wave of innovation in the electronics supply chain. It is my hope that the next few years will maintain this pace of innovation (without the hardships of having to chase aer parts). DESIGN007

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