Large-Area, Rad-Hard, Near Infrared Focal Plane Array for Coherent Holographic LADAR Applications
Advances in component technologies have enabled new classes of coherent LADAR systems that offer the potential for enhanced persistent space surveillance and asset protection. Their complex-valued images allow for imaging functions not possible with intensity-only images, including coherent detection of target dynamics and shape. However, practical implementation of these techniques in a high-bandwidth configuration have not yet been demonstrated. To achieve these desired results, in Phase I, a novel wavefunction focal plane array (FPA), configured with a high-responsivity InGaAs detector array, will be fabricated under program funding, and an existing low-noise, high-dynamic-range WFS readout integrated circuit (ROIC) with range gating down to 4 ns, pixel-to-pixel gain and offset level correction, correlated double sampling (CDS), snapshot imaging, and sustained 10 kHz operation will be fabricated, characterized, and tested against simulated targets. The successful Phase I requirements analysis and proof-of-concept WFS camera demonstration will prepare for Phase II, in which the ROIC will be re-designed to include multiple outputs and other user requirements, so that kHz frame rates can be achieved for FPA formats of 256256 and larger. The camera will be delivered to AFRL for evaluation in a Coherent Holographic LADAR testbed. Phase II will also include radiation, reliability, and lifetime testing. BENEFIT: The proposed technology is applicable to traditional LADAR markets, including 3D data for targeting, autonomous navigation, automotive cruise control and hazard avoidance. When scaled for commercial application, the innovation will have widespread application in the areas of medicine, engineering, optical computing, and gene sequencing.
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