NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O1.04-9119
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Optical Telecommunications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hole-Initiated-Avalanche, Linear-Mode, Single-Photon-Sensitive Avalanche Photodetector with Reduced Excess Noise and Low Dark Count Rate

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Voxtel, Inc.
15985 NW Schendel Avenue, Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97006 - 6703
(971) 223-5646

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Andrew Huntington
15985 NW Schendel Avenue, Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97006 - 6703
(971) 223-5646

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A radiation hard, single photon sensitive InGaAs avalanche photodiode (APD) receiver technology will be demonstrated useful for long range space based optical telecommunications in the spectral range from 1000 to 1600 nm. The innovation is based on a linear mode (lm) single photon sensitive APD technology for which avalanche gain as high as M = 8000 has been demonstrated. Single photon detection efficiency (PDE) up to 80% has been demonstrated at 1064 nm, as well as maximum count rates in excess of 300 MHz. In the proposed effort, the dark count rate of these detectors will be reduced to the order of kHz while preserving PDE and maximum count rate. Detector dark current will be lowered by two orders of magnitude through implementation of the APD design using aluminum-free alloys with 100x lower trap density than the current design. In Phase I, a series of single element detectors of varying diameter, as well as small sized arrays, will be fabricated from the new aluminum-free material, and the corresponding decrease in dark count rate will be measured. In Phase II, radiation and lifetime testing will be repeated for the aluminum-free design, and large-area segmented detectors will be coupled to readout integrated circuits and demonstrated.
Voxtel anticipates that its technology will enter the program at TRL=4, finish Phase I at TRL=5, and exit the Phase II program at TRL=6.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed low-noise optical receiver technology is applicable to a large number of NASA applications, including lidar atmospheric profiling, laser ranging, ladar navigation and hazard avoidance, and free-space optical communications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The innovation has numerous dual-use applications in US military, industrial and commercial markets, including 3D modeling and site survey, autonomous navigation, automotive cruise control and obstacle avoidance, and robotics. Military applications include navigation and targeting for manned and unmanned systems, including fixed- and rotary-winged platforms, ground-based vehicles, and weapon mounts, as well as helmet-mounted low-light-level imaging. The proposed high-rate photon-counting detectors can increase the data processing rate of quantum information applications such as quantum cryptography.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
3D Imaging
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12