NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- S4.06-9589 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 022410 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: High Rate Telecommunications for Deep Space and Local Planetary Networks
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Gain, Position Sensitive, Avalanche Photodiode for Optical Communication

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)
Richard A. Myers
rmyers@rmdinc.com
44 Hunt St
Watertown , MA   02472 - 4699
(617 ) 926 - 1167

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This Phase I SBIR describes the fabrication and characterization of a position sensitive detector with internal gain. During this program, Radiation Monitoring Devices (RMD) will fabricate several position sensitive avalanche photodiodes (APDs), including both quadrant and lateral-effect photodiodes. Using RMD's advanced planar processing technology, the position sensitive detectors will be optimized with emphasis on pointing applications for free-space optical communication systems. The internal gain of the APDs allows the detector to obtain higher responsivity than is presently available with ordinary silicon photodiodes, leading to superior spatial resolution. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a high speed, high gain, low noise position-sensitive APD module. The APD and electronics will be included in the module to produce a valuable tool for long distance communication and LADAR operation.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The proposed technology will have numerous important commercial applications, such as commercial optical communication systems, LADAR, near-IR spectroscopy and optical triangulation. A successful program could potentially advance any field that is presently limited by the lack of position sensitive detection or because array detector formats with multi-channel electronics is unacceptable. The advantage of good responsivity in the near-IR is further enhanced by the requirement of optical sources at eye-safe wavelengths and energies.

POTENTIAL NASA APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The primary application of this work is the further development of a detector for tracking satellites or other sources used in long-haul free-space optical communication systems. Further uses to NASA include position sensitive detection for vehicle docking, navigation, and guidance. Sensitive 3-D imaging can be realized using these detector in LADAR applications, including the geographical mapping of terrestrial or extra-terrestrial features.


Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10