NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S1.03-7310
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Read-Out Integrated Circuit with Individual Pixel Programmability for Astronomy Infrared Focal Plane Arrays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sensor Creations, Inc.
6609 Santa Rosa Road
Camarillo, CA 93012 - 5672
(805) 479-4608

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr Stefan Lauxtermann
stefan@sensorcreations.com
6609 Santa Rosa Rd.
Camarillo, CA 93012 - 5672
(805) 479-4708

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr Stefan Lauxtermann
stefan@sensorcreations.com
6609 Santa Rosa Rd.
Camarillo, CA 93012 - 5672
(805) 479-4708

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
One of the key components in many NASA missions is a large-format focal plane Focal Plane Array (FPA) to capture images or 2 dimensional, hyperspectral information, especially in the Infra-Red (IR) domain. Apart from the detector, the performance of these FPAs is determined by the Read-Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC) that amplifies and multiplexes photo generated charge for signal processing by peripheral circuitry.
In this project we propose to develop a new ROIC for low background applications, specifically designed to overcome present limitations of image persistence and inter-pixel capacitance (IPC). The main innovation in this project is an adaptive unit cell that can be individually and randomly programmed via on-chip logic to control bias state and reset duration of any pixel in the array while the integration of science data is on-going.
In Phase I we will conduct a pixel trade study and performance evaluation for a Capacitive Trans-Impedance Amplifier (CTIA) and a source follower per detector (SFD) type pixel using analog circuit simulations. Then we will generate the optimum unit cell layout, define the overall architecture and create the top level schematic. By the end of Phase I we will have completed the blue prints for the design. The completion of the top level schematics, verified through simulation, is a critical milestone in the development. It substantially reduces the risk associated with creating new ROIC technology and will allow us to efficiently fabricate and test the device in Phase II. All results from Phase I will be documented in a preliminary Interface Control Document (ICD) so that the new ROIC can be considered for future missions.
In Phase II we will produce the layout of the entire chip for fabrication using stitching lithography in a state of the art CMOS foundry and demonstrate its functionality on packaged prototypes. By the end of Phase II wafers of a known good ROIC design will be available for hybridization.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs) fabricated using this SBIR proposal's high performance, large format, and flexible ROIC will be a key sensor for nearly all NASA space missions which require high resolution infrared imaging and low read noise for low background applications. The specific applications include:
- Space based observations particularly where low noise is a requirement (for example deep space).
- Ground based space observations
- All missions that require infrared spectroscopy (and hence typically low backgrounds and low noise), including remote sensing.
- Space and ground based adaptive optics applications where low noise and persistence free performance is critically important. These devices are used to correct for the turbulent media between the detector and the target of observation. It is assumed that either a small portion of the large array can be used for this purpose (potentially an engineering grade array) or a new, modified design, assembled from the Intellectual Property (IP) building blocks developed on this program.
It is expected that leading IR FPA vendors such as Teledyne, Raytheon, DRS, United Technologies will be interested in this device for various applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many applications for FPAs made using this innovative ROIC technology, although large formats with multi mega pixel resolution may be cost prohibitive for some commercial applications. However, because stitching is used in the manufacturing process, smaller formats can be built with the exact same mask and serve lower cost, high volume applications.
Potential applications are:
- Hot electron emission detection due to leaky junctions, defects, and latchup in Integrated Circuits. Existing systems requires operating in the near-IR region require very low noise and large format FPAs.
- Spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging in industrial applications such as machine vision and process control. Because incoming radiation is separated by wavelength, the incident radiation per pixel is low, increasing the low noise requirements for the FPA.
- Medical applications where the reflected near-IR and Short Wave-IR wavelengths can provide information on skin/tissue conditions and pathology.
- Applications in Biotechnology where small signal fluorescence spectroscopy is used for information capture, e.g. genome sequencing.
- Agricultural inspection: By capturing images of crops in the IR domain, critical information can be gathered about relative moisture and overall health of the plant.
- Inspection of solar cells
- Detection of glucose levels in the blood due to absorbance at specific short wave infrared bands.

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.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Electromagnetic
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Infrared
Multispectral/Hyperspectral
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14