NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:06 S4.01-8684
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter
PROPOSAL TITLE:Cooled Bolometer IR Monolithic FPA

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Black Forest Engineering, LLC
1879 Austin Bluffs Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80918-7877
(719) 593-9501

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steve D Gaalema
sgaalema@bfe.com
1879 Austin Bluffs Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO  80918-7877
(719) 593-9501

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future space-based observatories imaging in the 4-40 ým spectral regime will be passively cooled. The objective of this research effort is to demonstrate near theoretical performance of bolometer-based infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) covering the 4-40 ým wavelength region by operating the FPA at reduced temperature. Amorphous silicon-alloy resistive bolomoters exhibit increased temperature coefficient of resistance when cooled below room temperature and are well suited for operation over the 30K-200K detector temperature range. Detector process optimization will allow performance levels close to theoretical limits. The cooled bolometer is compatible with advanced readout technologies, such as switched capacitor integrators, offered by Black Forest Engineering. The amorphous silicon-alloy bolometer process, optimized on Phase I for cryogenic operation, will be a basis for future large formant monolithic 1024x768 format FPAs fabricated on Phase II to support NASA passively cooled imaging applications and DoD/commercial cryo-cooled systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The cooled amorphous silicon alloy FPA can operate in Stirling, JT cryostat, TEC and passive radiation cooled applications. This capability of operating over a wide range of temperatures with increasing performance as the operating temperature is lowered will allow the cooled bolometer FPA technology to meet the needs of many broadband infrared NASA imaging applications. Passively cooled space-based observatories imaging in the 4-40 ým spectral regime is a specific example.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The cooled amorphous silicon alloy FPA achieves high performance with reduced thermal isolation. This allows high performance to be achieved with a fast thermal time constant and resultant fast frame rates. A micro-scanned version of the cooled bolometer FPA (optimized for 120-240 frames per second while maintaining high sensitivity) is ideal for micro-scanned forward looking infrared (FLIR) applications where high resolution is required with small optical assemblies.

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Optical
Photonics
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials


Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19