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Design and fabrication of Ultrafast Pixel Array Camera (UPAC)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019790
Agency Tracking Number: 0000254699
Amount: $1,149,858.29
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 25b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002156
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-24
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-08-23
Small Business Information
2800 Woodlawn Drive Suite #240
Honolulu, HI 96822-1876
United States
DUNS: 080018975
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Isar Mostafanezhad
 (808) 343-9204
Business Contact
 Isar Mostafanezhad
Phone: (808) 913-1598
Research Institution

Nalu Scientific LLC (NSL) recognizes the inherent need within the high energy science and inertial fusion laboratories to develop ultrafast diagnostics to assess plasma conditions for high energy density science and inertial fusion experiments. The current limitation of existing measurement tools is in the constraints of streak cameras. An ultrafast pixel camera can meet these needs by reading high-speed photodetectors and sensor arrays with compact electronics. Such an approach would facilitate transformative diagnostics at many DOE labs. NSL proposes to continue R&D design and commercialization plans for an Ultrafast Pixel Array Camara (UPAC) through this Phase II effort. This novel solid-state sensor will be capable of digitally recording x-ray, and particle emission from High Energy Density and Inertial Fusion plasmas with thousands of pixel resolution, burst mode frame rates of 10-100 Giga Frames per Second, and record lengths up to 1000 time samples. Through the Phase I efforts, Nalu LLC developed the UPAC-I, a 32 channel low profile digitizer board with the PSEC4A digitizer chip. UPAC-I was developed in close collaboration with scientists atSandia National Laboratories and the University of Chicago.UPAC-I has been fabricated and is under electronic and lab testing. During Phase I we identified specifications for the readout chip for a Phase II project. The next step is to connect this board with specialized x-ray and neutron sensor arrays which will be completed before the end of this project. The proposed two-year Phase II project will be focused on the following: Finalize field-testing of the UPAC-I 32 channel system at high-power laser facilities, design and implement a high channel count version UPCA-Eval (96 channels), test UPAC-Eval camera in HEDP and ICF experiments at high-power laser and pulsed-power facilities, from specifications derived from Phase I, design and implement the building block digitizer microchip, develop easy-to-use evaluation board and software for early tests by end-users, develop and build electronics, pixelated x-ray, and particle sensor arrays for a 400 and 100 channel camera, test the UPCAC-400/100l camera at various collaborator’s facilities. This device can be used by scientists in high energy and nuclear physics experiments to assess plasma conditions. NSL will develop the UPAC as a commercially available camera with a common knowledge base. Accompanying hardware, firmware, and software can be deployed in a variety of experiments and applications from massive projects such as those at the National Ignition Facility, subcritical experiments at the Nevada National Security Site, or Laser Energetics experiments at various DOE labs. We anticipate being able to sell the device as an original equipment manufacturer, while providing associated design services and support, and/or license it to a larger device manufacturer. The low unit cost and low-power nature of the design will give us a competitive edge.

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

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