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High-Gain, Low-Excess-Noise APD Arrays for Near-Single-Photon-Sensitive LADAR

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX16CL66P
Agency Tracking Number: 150300
Amount: $123,214.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T9.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-06-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-06-09
Small Business Information
15985 Northwest Schendel Avenue, Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97006-6703
United States
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Huntington
 Senior Engineer
 (971) 223-5646
Business Contact
 Debra Ozuna
Title: Business Official
Phone: (971) 223-5646
Research Institution
 University of Dayton
 Debra Ozuna
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-8803
United States

 (971) 223-5646
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

One of the challenges facing missions to other planetary bodies including Earth's Moon, Mars, Venus, Titan, Europa; and proximity operations (including sampling and landing) on small bodies such as asteroids and comets' is the ability to provide accurate altimetry for descent, then assess safe landing sites by surveying the landscape. To address NASA's need for space-hardened planetary entry, descent, and landing (EDL) and proximity-operations sensors, a low-cost, high-pixel-density avalanche photodiode detector array technology will be developed that is sensitive in the 0.9-μm to 1.7-μm spectral range and when operated at room temperature, can achieve nearly noiseless avalanche gain, allowing for near-single-photon sensitivity. In Phase I, a series of detector structures will be grown, fabricated, and tested. The performance of the detectors will be used to predict performance of the arrays when coupled to low-noise readout integrated circuits. Single element devices coupled to low-noise amplifiers will be used to validate the predictive models.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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