NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.05-9434
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ultra-Low Noise Quad Photoreceiver for Space Based Laser Interferometric Gravity Wave Detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Discovery Semiconductors, Inc.
119 Silvia Street
Ewing, NJ 08628 - 3200
(609) 434-1311

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Shubhashish Datta
119 Silvia Street
Ewing, NJ 08628 - 3200
(609) 434-1311

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Gravity wave detection using space-based long-baseline laser interferometric sensors imposes stringent noise requirements on the system components, including the large area photoreceiver front ends. The proposed innovation utilizes dual depletion region technology to produce a large area (1mm diameter) 2x2 quad p-i-n InGaAs photodiode array having ~2.1pF capacitance per quadrant. The small capacitance of the quad photodiode array is leveraged in combination with a low-noise JFET-input operational amplifier to manufacture ultra-low noise quad photoreceiver array. Each element (quadrant) of the photoreceiver array will have an input equivalent current noise <2pA/sq.rt. Hz in a frequency range of 2 to 20MHz. This will enable shot noise dominated performance at an optical local oscillator power of ~100mW per quadrant.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The low-noise large area photoreceivers are suitable for numerous space-based optical systems, such as:
1) Long baseline laser interferometry;
2) Global 3D profiling of wind velocity;
3) River flow, height, and width monitoring for improved water resource management; and
4) Remote sensing missions to other planets.

These devices can also to be used for ground-based free-space NASA applications, such as wind mapping for rocket launches.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The dual-depletion region technology allows high speed photodiode operation in conjunction with good noise performance. Consequently, the low-noise large area photoreceivers can be used for following free-space (ground-based, airborne, and space-based) commercial applications, such as:

1) Free space communication links;
2) Airport wind monitoring;
3) Airline clear air turbulence sensing for improved passenger safety and route optimization for improved fuel efficiency; and
4) Wind profiling for potential wind farm sites.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Large Antennas and Telescopes
Optical & Photonic Materials
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56