NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:06 S4.02-9622
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE:A Near-Infrared Photon Counting Camera for High Sensitivity Astronomical Observation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Intevac, Inc.
3560 Bassett Street
Santa Clara, CA 95054-2704
(408) 986-9888

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Leslie M. Tack
ltack@intevac.com
3560 Bassett Street
Santa Clara, CA  95054-2704
(408) 588-2150

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The innovation is a Near Infrared Photon-Counting Sensor (NIRPCS), an imaging device with sufficient sensitivity to capture the spectral signatures, in the wavelength range 0.9-1.7 um from very faint extra-solar targets and events with high resolution. The NIRPCS will have near zero read noise and dark rates below the read noise to support photon counting for frame capture times as high as 10 seconds. Up to 10E5 frames can be sequentially captured and digitally averaged. Important NASA applications for the NIRPCS include spectral measurements on extra-solar planets in search of water and bio-markers and measuring the dynamics of galaxies at high redshift to better understand the formation process. The technical objectives of Phase I in the development of the NIRPCS include i) determine which sensor components from an existing NIR sensor must be optimized to achieve NIR photon counting performance of frame capture times as lone as 10 seconds; and ii) create technical specifications for a NIRPCS prototype that would be developed under a Phase II SBIR program. The Work Plan has the following tasks: i) Review of improvement in photocathode QE and dark charge reduction; (ii) photocathode dark current modeling; and iii) prototype specification.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
? Improve all NIR measurements in the 950-1700 nm band where performance is presently limited by sensor and rad noise and dark current.
? Spectral measurements on extra-solar planets in search of water and bio-markers.
? Measuring the dynamics of galaxies at high redshift to better understand the formation process.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
? Intevac's MOSIRTM camera platform
The NIRPCS will allow Intevac to advance the sensitivity of Intevac's MOSIRTM camera platform to support many important scientific and commercial applications including (i) ground based astronomy applications that require photon counting capability; and (ii) low light Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy

? Stand-Off bomb detection and stand-off hazmat/first responder platforms
The MOSIR with the NIRPCS will support detection of threats at stand-off distances as much as 50 meters including bomb detection. Hazardous materials, and stand-off chemical analysis for first responder teams.

? We foresee reuse of this technology for DOD passive night vision imaging applications, including soldier mobility and target identification, in the 0.9-1.7 um wavelength band.

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
Biochemical
Optical


Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19