NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- E1.01-8848 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023151 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Passive Optical
PROPOSAL TITLE: All-digital, CMOS-based Photodiode Camera

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt St
Watertown , MA   02472 - 4699
(617 ) 926 - 1167

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James F. Christian
jchristian@RMDInc.com
44 Hunt St
Watertown , MA   02472 - 4699
(617 ) 926 - 1167

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
CCDs (Charge-Coupled Devices), and more recently, CMOS (complementary-symmetry metal-oxide-semiconductor) APS (Active Pixel Sensor) cameras have revolutionized imaging instrumentation and the many fields that utilize these instruments. Both of these technologies rely on detecting, or integrating, the analog photo-current generated in each pixel, which limits their sensitivity and bandwidth. Counting individual optical photons with a Geiger detector provides the greatest sensitivity, and represents a true digital imaging approach that facilitates signal processing at the pixel level.
This program develops a fully integrated, digital camera chip, which is an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), that counts individual optical photons using Geiger avalanche photodiodes. This all-digital, CMOS imaging technology fulfills the demanding requirements for providing high-resolution images at ~GHz speeds char-acteristic of CMOS processing architectures. In Phase I, we will explore appropriate fabrication architectures for the ASIC and fabricate prototype pixel elements, along with the critical circuit components needed to support the pixel element. We will test the prototype devices and compare their measured performance to the initial design specifica-tions.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Non-NASA applications include low-light-level imaging, photography, diffuse optical tomography, nuclear imaging, x-ray imaging, (nuclear medicine). The proposed ASIC camera would find widespread use in instrumentation where compact, high-speed, hi-resolution imaging detectors are used. High-performance imaging detectors currently have a large commercial market, and as such, the proposed development holds a very high potential for commercialization.

POTENTIAL NASA APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
This technology benefits many imaging applications including the following NASA applications: Airborne, spaceborne or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) instruments for imaging and measuring climate, meteorological parameters, aerosols, clouds, water vapor and other chemical constituents of the atmosphere, vegetation index, biological productivity, chlorophyll fluorescence, 2D and 3D surface terrain mapping, and ocean color measurements.


Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10