NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE:Monolithic Time Delay Integrated APD Arrays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Epitaxial Technologies, LLC
1450 South Rolling Road
Baltimore, MD 21045-3863
(410) 455-5594

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ayub   Fathimulla
Epitaxial Technologies, LLC. 1450 South Rolling Road
Baltimore, MD  21045-3863
(410) 455-5830

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The overall goal of the proposed program by Epitaxial Technologies is to develop monolithic time delay integrated avalanche photodiode (APD) arrays with sensitivity and dynamic range at least an order of magnitude better than currently available ladar sensors and free-space optical communication terminals. We will accomplish this by monolithically integrating on the same chip, APD arrays with transimpedance amplifiers (TIA) incorporating novel time delay integration elements. In Phase I of this project, we will design, model and simulate the performance of 1064-nm APD array chips with built-in time delay integration (TDI) elements that will enable sensitivity enhancement by as much as a factor of 32 compared to the performance of existing APD arrays. In Phase II, we will design, fabricate and test 32 x 32 TDI APD arrays and (1 x 16) monolithic photoreceivers with TDI unit cells. We will use microlens technology to further improve the fill factor to 90%. Finally, we will combine the arrays with readout integrated circuits (ROIC) using an innovative bonding technique at the wafer level and deliver packaged sensor units to NASA GSFC.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Development of such detectors will improve by an order-of-magnitude the sensitivity and dynamic range of staring APD arrays required for the next generation of free-space optical, fiber optic communication and solid state imaging LADAR systems for tracking satellites, vehicle docking, navigation, and guidance. Other applications include photon correlation spectroscopy and space-based instruments and astrophysics observatories in the infrared wavelength. Specific NASA programs where this technology will be applied include the Constellation-X, the Spirit Satellite, the Lunar Robotic Orbiter and the Mars Telecom Orbiter.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential DOD applications include: airborne 3-D imaging LADAR transmitter/sensor (and sophisticated image processing) to penetrate dense trees and camouflage in order to detect, identify, and characterize targets on the battlefield such as tanks and armored personnel carriers, missile seekers, passive imaging camera with the capability of generating real-time displays of imaging scene. Commercial applications include: commercial receivers operating in the 1-1.5 micron wavelength range for fiber optic communications and free space communication and lidar tranceivers for terrain mapping, navigational guidance, and surveillance through foliage, forestry inspection, agricultural monitoring, and production monitoring in the automotive and steel industries as well as commercial and law enforcement applications.

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.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Biochemical Conversion
Biomolecular Sensors
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Large Antennas and Telescopes
Optical & Photonic Materials
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19