NASA STTR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 T8.02-9770
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Planetary Compositional Analysis and Mapping
PROPOSAL TITLE: Detectors with Improved Near-to-Mid IR Performance and Reduced Cooling Requirements

NAME: Amethyst Research Inc. NAME: University of Oklahoma
STREET: 123 Case Circle STREET: 440 West Brooks St.
CITY: Ardmore CITY: Norman
STATE/ZIP: OK  73401 - 0643 STATE/ZIP: OK  73019 - 0225
PHONE: (580) 657-2575 PHONE: (405) 325-3961

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orin Wayne Holland
123 Case Circle
Ardmore, OK 73401 - 0643
(580) 657-2575

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ryan Cottier
123 Case Circle
Ardmore, OK 73401 - 0643
(580) 229-7109

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Technologies for Planetary Compositional Analysis and Mapping is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This STTR Phase I proposal addresses a NASA need for improved near-to-mid IR detectors for imaging and spectroscopy. High performance IR detectors with cutoff wavelengths in the range of 2.5 – 5.0 microns will be developed using InGaAs / AlAsSb semiconductor materials. The proposal uses a two-pronged approach to address the problem of detector performance degradation by materials' defects, both "grown in" defects and defects caused by radiation damage. The project will apply an advanced device architecture, the nBn detector, which has been shown to be extremely successful in other IR detectors for suppression of defect-related dark current and noise. Additionally, the project will apply our proprietary defect mitigation technology, which passivates defects via UV hydrogenation treatments. The result of this program will be near-to-mid IR detectors with higher performance, reduced cooling requirements, and improved radiation hardness.

These detectors are compatible with integration into mega-pixel IR imaging arrays for imaging 2.5 – 5.0 micron wavelengths with improved performance and reduced cost, which will be produced in Phase II.
Amethyst has teamed with the University of Oklahoma and FLIR Systems to ensure that this technology can be readily transitioned to meet NASA mission requirements.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed InGaAs nBn detectors can be employed in NASA IR imaging applications at 2.5 – 5.0 micron wavelengths, such as the following programs:
Landsat's Thermal IR Sensor (TIRS) Currently TIRS is employing Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPs) for detection in the long wavelength infrared (LWIR) region. These detectors operate at 43K. With significant reduction in the defect densities in Ga-free SLS as well as integrated in an nBn architecture to reduce factors contributing to the dark current such as surface leakage, Shockley Read Hall, the proposed structure will operate relatively at higher operating temperatures (>100K). Although the cut-off wavelength for the proposed structure is in the MWIR, the program will be expanded to cover 5-14 microns in Phase II.

Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) According to the Extend Pre-Phase A, one of CLARREO's goals is to test and evaluate IR instrument ranging between 5-50 microns, which can provide a test-bed platform for high performance detector technologies such as the propose Ga-free SLS nBn detectors.

Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), a joint NASA and ESA project under Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) JEO concept includes a visible-IR spectrometer between 400-5200nm wavelength with HgCdTe arrays, which may require cooling to as low as 80K for reliable operation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As the technology further matures the operability and yield gains will translate to significant reductions in cost and improved manufacturability of infrared imaging systems. The InGaAs nBn sensors will have reduced cooling requirements over other high performance infrared materials (such as HgCdTe and QWIPs) and, thus require fewer and lighter components for both military and commercial systems. The significant cost reduction associated with the InGaAs nBn based technology will generate new markets, currently inaccessible due to high price points, such as medical imaging, robotics, environmental and policing.

Due to the nature of the Amethyst/FLIR partnership we fully anticipate that our rollout customer will be FLIR. However, to maximize the value of this program and Amethyst's intellectual property, Amethyst does not intend to grant an exclusive license to a single manufacturer. Amethyst has filed a number of patents relating to its photon-assisted and high pressure hydrogenation processes which will provide the basis for licensing negotiations with its customers.

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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Manufacturing Methods
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Telescope Arrays
Thermal Imaging (see also Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21