NASA STTR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 T4.01-9886
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Innovative Sensors, Support Subsystems and Detectors for Small Satellite Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Photonic antenna enhanced middle wave and longwave infrared focal plane array with low noise and high operating temperature

NAME: Applied NanoFemto Technologies, LLC NAME: University of Massachusetts - Lowell
STREET: 181 Stedmen Street, Unit #2 STREET: 600 Suffolk Street, Second Floor
CITY: Lowell CITY: Lowell
STATE/ZIP: MA  01851 - 5201 STATE/ZIP: MA  01854 - 2827
PHONE: (978) 761-4293 PHONE: (978) 934-2226

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jarrod Vaillancourt
181 Stedmen Street, Unit #2
Lowell, MA 01851 - 5201
(978) 430-7128

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Photodetectors and focal plane arrays (FPAs) covering the middle-wave and longwave infrared (MWIR/LWIR) are of great importance in numerous NASA applications, including earth remote sensing for carbon-based trace gases, Lidar mapping for earth resource locating, and environment and atmosphere monitoring. Existing MWIR/LWIR photodetectors have a low operating temperature of below 77K. The requirement for cryogenic cooling systems adds cost, weight and reliability issues, making it unsuitable for satellite remote sensing applications. This STTR project aims to develop a new plasmonic photonic antenna coupled MWIR/LWIR photodetector and FPA with significantly enhanced performance and a high operating temperature. In Phase I, we developed a preliminary plasmonic photonic antenna enhanced MWIR/LWIR photodetector and demonstrated significant enhancement in photodetectivity and operating temperature. Antenna directivity is also tested and agrees with the simulation. The phase I results not only demonstrated the feasibility of achieving high performance MWIR/LWIR photodetector using the proposed innovation, but also show its promising potentials for high operating temperature FPA development. Motivated by the successful feasibility demonstration and the promising potentials, in this STTR Phase II project, we will develop a prototype of the plasmonic photonic antenna enhanced MWIR/LWIR FPA with a high operating temperature and demonstrate its earth remote sensing capability.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed plasmonic photonic antenna enhanced MWIR/LWIR photodetector and FPA technology enables ultra-compact high performance MWIR/LWIR sensing with high photodetectivity and a high operating temperature. This technology avoids the bulky and heavy cryogenic cooling system and enables ultra-compact carbon-based trace gases (CH4, CO2, and CO) sensing with substantially reduced device size, weight and power consumption and improved system reliability for small satellite applications. It forms a key building block in IR cameras for numerous NASA's earth remote applications, including space telescope and high-sensitive space object imaging, high definition acquisition of radiation characteristics of Earth and its environments, monitoring of atmospheric variables such as temperature, winds, and trace constituents for understanding and predicting the earth's climate and potential hazards as well as topographical profiling of Earth for mineral identification and vegetation mapping.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The high-performance ultra-compact MWIR/LWIR detector technology is particularly useful for many portable and standalone military and homeland security sensing and imaging applications such as night vision, missile early launch detection and remote chemical sensing and detection for biological/chemical warfare. Commercial markets include leak detection, chemical process control, remote chemical sensing for atmospheric pollution and drug monitoring, IR spectroscopy, and medical diagnoses. The technology developed herein would considerably accelerate the commercialization of IR camera technologies to meet the potential needs of the huge defense and commercial market.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Thermal Imaging (see also Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 02-28-13 11:49