NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S1.05-9289
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Power X-Ray Photon Resolving Imaging Array

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Black Forest Engineering, LLC
PO Box 8059
Colorado Springs, CO 80933 - 8059
(719) 593-9501

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen Gaalema
12930 Morris Trail
Colorado Springs, CO 80908 - 3231
(719) 591-9501

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Instruments employing X-ray detection are countless, in different sectors from medicine to industry and from basic to applied science. Given this importance, and despite existing technologies, there is still need for X-ray detection with increased system performance. The solid-state detector array is the primary technology to implement the current generation of space borne high-energy astronomy missions that are managed by NASA in partnership with the international community. Readout integrated circuitry (ROIC) specifically designed for photon resolving X-ray detection with solid-state detectors will create a new generation of high-performance X-ray imaging sensors. AC coupled detector input circuitry, similar to that used by Black Forest Engineering (BFE) for laser detection and ranging (LADAR), is ideally suited to NASA X-ray astronomy imaging system requirements. BFE proposes on Phase I to design, process and test detector input circuitry to meet a wide range of NASA X-ray imaging applications. The input circuit, when implemented into an ASIC X-ray imaging ROIC, manufactured and integrated with a solid-state detector array on Phase II, will provide single photon sensitivity, accurate X-ray energy determination, X-ray event time stamping, low power dissipation and ambient temperature operation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The X-ray imaging technology developed on this SBIR will meet NASA's soft-to-hard energy requirements. One specific application is the Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope (EXIST); however, the design approach is applicable to a wide range of X-ray imaging systems and future systems such as Constellation-X. The readout approach is compatible with a wide variety of X-ray detectors for maximum utility. Power requirements are low to support space-based applications. The X-ray imager design and packaging approach is compact to allow 4-side abuttable imager assemblies to create large focal plane arrays.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This imaging technology, with single photon sensitivity, reduces dose requirements for medical and commercial X-ray imaging applications. Elimination of many other background and noise sources provides the ability to resolve X-ray energy. There is a great potential to be explored with more elaborate methods of processing single photon signals. The image sensor can use two thresholds to select an energy band out of a continuous spectrum or perform image subtraction with one X-ray illumination. While single photon imaging with X-ray sensors will not displace conventional film and continuous integration imager approaches (such as charge coupled devices), the ability to work over a wide X-ray energy range and to process those images using signal energy level discrimination methods, will improve image quality of many existing X-ray systems and create new imaging applications.

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.

Large Antennas and Telescopes
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50