NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-S5.03-8030 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034977)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:High Rate Telecommunications for Mars Planetary and Proximity Ranges and Other Deep-Space Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE:Ultra-low Noise, High Bandwidth, 1550nm HgCdTe APD

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Voxtel, Inc
614 SW 11th Avenue
Portland ,OR 97205 - 2644
(503) 243 - 4633

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James   Gates
jimgates@voxtel-inc.com
614 SW 11th Avenue
Portland ,OR  97205 -2644
(503) 243 - 4633
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Voxtel Inc. proposes to optimize the design of a large area, 1.55?m sensitive HgCdTe avalanche photodiode (APD) that achieves high gain with nearly no excess noise. By optimizing the APD device structure and by exploiting the most recent insight into the material?s ionization characteristics, we have engineered the vertical HgCdTe APD for nearly noiseless gain (ultra low k) with high bandwidth and with low dark current. As large area photodetectors necessarily have high dark current and increased capacitance, we will tradeoff the performance of a large area detector design with that of a pixilated design. A pixilated detector can reduce the amplifier noise and dark current in the local of the amplified events to sufficiently low levels for photon counting. Through the use of our low noise, high unit cell density, amplifier integrated circuits, we will demonstrate nearly ideal receiver performance for space optical communications applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Laser communications over planetary distances will require the superior performance of the proposed innovation. Additionally, as the device can be configured in large area arrays and across the infrared spectrum, it can be used for a wide range of photon starved applications that include, but are not limited to: LIDAR, spectroscopy, spectropolarimetry, interferometery, astronomy, remote sensing, LADAR docking systems, LADAR autonomous landing systems, as well as thermographic and radiometric measurements of human physiology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The sensor technologies being developed in this effort will have application in telecommunications, freespace communications, quantum information processing, laser ranging, target designation, laser radar, confocal microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy, chem/bio hazard detection, astronomy, cancer detection, thermography and radiometry.