NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Sensor and Detector Technology for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE:Fast Readout for Large Area Photon-Counting Infrared Detectors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
63 Albert Rd.
Newton, MA 02466-1302
(617) 964-1788

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stefan   Vasile
63 Albert Rd.
Newton, MA  02466-1302
(617) 964-1788

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Many NASA space and Earth programs in the infrared range 1060-1550 nm are limited by the detector performance that require long exposure time due to their low sensitivity and/or high noise. Large format infrared photon counting arrays with ranging capability would provide a valuable tool to many space missions. Current state of the art fabrication of photon counting infrared detector arrays on non-silicon semiconductors is not mature enough to monolithically integrate complex readout circuitry at pixel level and large format array multiplexing. We proposed to develop novel fast readout integrated circuits (ROIC) to be integrated with large photon-counting infrared detector arrays into 3D imaging cameras with photon-counting sensitivity. These new cameras would support NASA missions in applications such as space docking, landing, remote mapping, and robotic vision.
The goal of this program is to develop smart-pixel ROIC arrays in silicon with enhanced radiation tolerance, ready for hybrid integration with large infrared photon-counting avalanche photodiode arrays, that will enable large-area detectors with short integration time, sub-nanosecond timing resolution, and on-pixel logic.

In Phase I, we have simulated, implemented, and successfully validated all the blocks of a ROIC array specifically developed for operation with infrared photon-counting arrays.

In Phase II, we will improve, fabricate and qualify ROIC arrays with integrated timing functions at pixel level and capable of integration in flip-chip technology with large infrared photon counting detector arrays.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Free space optical communications, LADAR, LIDAR, planetary mapping, obstacle detection, 3d remote robotics, docking,

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ROIC arrays, interconnected to large format detector arrays covering different spectral ranges, could enhance the performance of hyperspectral imaging in medical and defense applications.

Specific biomedical applications include positron emission tomography (PET), laser correlation spectroscopy (LCS), single molecule detection, fast DNA sequencing.

Military and security applications would include generic 3D imaging, hyperspectral imaging, laser ranging, night vision, surveillance, anti-collision devices, underwater imaging, and cargo imaging. In High-Energy and Nuclear Physics, these ROIC arrays could be used for high-resolution tracking and experiments using time-of-flight methods.

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.


Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04