NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X1.03-9694
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Sensing and Imaging
PROPOSAL TITLE:Ultra Compact, Low Power, NIR, Flash LADAR Receiver

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Voxtel, Inc
12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 230
Beaverton ,OR 97005 - 1687
(971) 223 - 5646

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
George M Williams
georgew@voxtel-inc.com
12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 230
Beaverton, OR  97005 -1687
(971) 223 - 5646

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The object of this effort is to design a miniature, low power, angle-angle-range, 3-D flash LADAR receiver that can be implemented using germanium-on-insulator/silicon-on-insulator (GOI/SOI) hybrid wafer stacks. The germanium layer of the wafer stack will be used for photodetection functions, so as to take advantage of its excellent photoabsorption in the visible and NIR, as well as its high carrier mobilities. Low-noise, high-bandwidth amplification and pulse detection circuits will be fabricated in the silicon layer of the wafer stack, using mature complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology.

The proposed design is optimized to be both low power and radiation tolerance. The SOI architecture is inherently tolerant of radiation, as the small volumes of device material involved have a correspondingly smaller scattering cross section. Moreover, isolation of the thin device layer from the substrate means that CMOS receiver circuits fabricated on such a wafer will benefit from increased speed, reduced power consumption, and lower noise. Finally, as the proposed design can be manufactured using commercial CMOS foundry lines, no additional cost, development time, or quality control measures relative to a standard CMOS process will be incurred, once the hybrid wafers are procured.

In Phase I, the proposed receiver will be designed, simulated, and optimized using TCAD tools. The design and simulation tasks will be complemented with a short-loop fabrication experiment in which critical receiver components will be fabricated from hybrid GOI/SOI wafer prototypes and characterized.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
NASA may use LADAR's terrain mapping capabilities for space exploration, and autonomous navigation. As example, one of the recent NASA Mars probes, lost while attempting to land near the planet's South Pole region, probably fell into a crevasse. A 3-D imager could provide highly accurate maps of potential landing areas, offering mission planners more accurate site selection data. NASA also is investigating LADAR applications for spacecraft docking systems. LADAR is also usefully for unattended vehicle navigation, hazard avoidance, detection of obstacles present in the path of an autonomous vehicle, and 3-D scene structure applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
LADAR systems have applications for obstacle detection, land and building survey, 3-D modeling, target identification, terrain mapping, and navigational guidance. The military is currently using LADAR in missile seekers and UAV platforms, and is interested in using the 3-D mapping capabilities of LADAR. For example, in an urban operation, if terrorists were suspected of operating in a building, accurate LADAR maps could be used to do 3-D modeling of the area, permitting ground forces to find the best ways to approach the structure without being seen.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Microwave/Submillimeter
Optical
Optical & Photonic Materials
Photonics
Photovoltaic Conversion
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12