Multi-Mode LADAR Camera Development for Enhanced Interceptor Seekers Readiness
A flash LADAR camera will be designed and demonstrated in the Phase I program. After fabricating a series of high-gain, low-excess-noise, back-illuminated avalanche photodiode (APD) arrays, including 88, 3232, 128128, and 256256 formats, the arrays will be hybridized to one or more existing flash LADAR readout integrated circuits (ROICs). After optical and electrical characterization, the LADAR focal plane arrays will be integrated into 3232-element 20-kfps LADAR camera electronics, with three time-of-arrival and pulse amplitude samples per frame. The sensitivity and pulse-pair resolution of the camera will be demonstrated. In Phase II, the fill factor of the linear-mode APD arrays will be improved with integral microlenses, and the arrays will be integrated with a 128128 ROIC to build a flash LADAR camera, allowing for field testing. Also in Phase II, the FPAs will be radiation, reliability, and lifetime tested. The benefits of the program are significant. Deliberate MDA investment in camera technology to increase the technology readiness level of linear-mode APD technology and ROICs, will prepare for future LADAR system upgrades, and significantly reduce program risk and cost, offering the potential for a very large return on investment for MDA.
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