NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17-2 H9.01-8838
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Optical Telecommunications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Geiger-Mode SiGe Receiver for Long-Range Optical Communications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Freedom Photonics, LLC
41 Aero Camino
Goleta, CA 93117 - 3104
(805) 967-4900

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Daniel Renner
41 Aero Camino
Goleta, CA 93117 - 3104
(805) 967-4900 Extension :7008

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Milan Mashanovitch
41 Aero Camino
Goleta, CA 93117 - 3104
(805) 967-4900 Extension :7003

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Long Range Optical Telecommunications 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)

The objective of this program is to develop, demonstrate and implement a 1550-nm sensitive photon-counting detector array with monolithically integrated time-tagging electronics, suitable for free-space optical communications, where high data volume returns from space missions are critical, such as in the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) and other future NASA missions. Conventional photon counting detector arrays are implemented in either Silicon (Si) or Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe), negating detection at 1550 nm in the case of Si or incurring high cost and complexity for HgCdTe. In this program, Freedom Photonics will partner with the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and Arizona State University (ASU) to develop a novel Geiger-mode Avalanche Photodiode (APD) arrayreceiver for photon counting applications with sensitivity for wavelengths in the range from 1000 nm to 1600 nm, which utilizes standard CMOS processing for electronics, coupled with selective growth of APDs in the SiGeSn materials system, resulting in a low-cost, high-sensitivity, high-speed and radiation hard receiver for long-range optical communications. 

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In this program, Freedom Photonics proposes to develop a photon-counting detector array, sensitive in the 1550 nm wavelength range, suitable for Free-Space-Optical (FSO) communications where high data rates from space missions are critical, such as the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD). The proposed photodetector array is akin to the well known Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) but using the SiGeSn ternary alloy, rather than just Si, to extend the detection wavelength range to 1550 nm. To our knowledge, no such solid state "photomultiplier" device exists currently for detection at 1550 nm. This SiGeSn Semiconductor Photomultiplier (SPM) will be epitaxially grown on a CMOS wafer, so that it will include monolithically integrated time tagging electronics for a significant reduction in Size, Weight and Power (SWaP), compared to current state-of-the-art lasercom receivers.
Potential NASA customers for these products include:
o Space Technology Directorate
o Science Directorate
o Human Exploration and Operations Directorate
o Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC)
o Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD)
o Space Network (SN)
o Near Earth Network (NEN)
o Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD)
o International Space Station
o New Horizons: Pluto and Beyond

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential applications for the FSO high sensitivity photodetector include:
- Space communications
- Aircraft-to-aircraft and aircraft-to-ground communications
- Communication links for internet-by-balloon or internet-by-drone as currently being developed by Google and Facebook
- Building-to-building connectivity, where the improved detector sensitivity would improve performance under some adverse weather conditions

Customers for these products include:
Other Government
o Department of Defense
o Department of Agriculture
o Department of Homeland Security
o Department of Energy
Non-Government Commercial
o Companies developing aerial internet distribution such as Google and Facebook
o Space exploration companies such as SpaceX and Orbital ATK
o FSO link manufacturing companies such as fSona and Lightpointe

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)
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Telescope Arrays

Form Generated on 03-05-18 17:24