NASA SBIR 2019-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-2- S1.04-4100
 Sensor and Detector Technologies for Visible, IR, Far-IR, and Submillimeter
 Computational Pixel Imager (CPI) Readout Integrated Circuits for Next Generation High Performance and Low SWaP Sensors
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Copious Imaging, LLC
83 Hartwell Avenue, Suite 150
Lexington, MA 02421
(978) 457-4539

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Christopher David
83 Hartwell Avenue, Suite 150
Lexington, MA 02421 - 3116
(781) 918-6554

BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thomas Klein
83 Hartwell Ave., Ste. 150
Lexington, 02421 - 3116
(617) 921-0485

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Computational Pixel Imager (CPI) technology enables advanced capability for smaller satellites with reduced size, weight and power (SWaP) for missions such as Earth science.  We will develop an advanced CPI readout integrated circuit (ROIC) that can be mated to various detector materials from shortwave through very longwave infrared (SWIR – VLWIR).  We use the Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) as a boilerplate example for the benefits of the technology.  Using CPI technology, the performance of the TIRS could be improved significantly while also reducing the mechanical complexity of the sensor system.  Alternatively, it may be possible to build a smaller, simpler, less expensive sensor with the same performance as TIRS-2.  
We will develop a 640x512 format, 20m pixel pitch ROIC design, compatible with HOT infrared detectors to offer significant performance benefits for future NASA missions such as Landsat TIRS.  We will develop the architecture for performing on-chip TDI with high dynamic range using HOT LWIR detectors.  The architecture will support:
- High dynamic range - to accommodate the LWIR background and dark current pedestal, which could be high using HOT detectors.
- Dual band – 2 optical bands can be supported simultaneously with 2 independent frontends and ADCs per pixel
- On-chip TDI scanning – Up to 512 rows of TDI gain can be accomplished while scanning without the need to readout the image sensor to accumulate data in a separate processor. 
- Pseudo simultaneous dual band scanning – Both bands will be accumulated on-chip, and with high dynamic range at the same time.

We will develop the architecture and design the ROIC in this program.  We will develop, fabricate, and characterize test chips to support the design and validation of the full format ROIC.  Although the program will result in a fully functional ROIC design, funding limits will not allow us to fabricate the ROIC.  Also, we will not specially design a Rad-Hard device in this program.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

CPI technology enables future NASA missions to support new operational modes, achieve unprecedented performance, and provide multi-mode support. It will enable small-sats for Earth Science and Interplanetary missions by reducing the need for supporting electronics and data comm. to the ground. Sensors built with CPIs can provide resolution and coverage that cannot be achieved with sensors built with existing imagers, while removing many constraints typically imposed by limitations of the imager.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

CPI technology can broadly apply to numerous applications.  In particular, applications requiring high performance imaging, wide field-of-view coverage, high dynamic range, infrared bands, and/or high-speed readout can benefit from CPI tech.  SWaP constrained systems as well.  It applies to both government and commercial markets.   Autonomous and robotic vision systems are a particularly good fit.

Duration: 24

Form Generated on 05/04/2020 06:34:01