SBIR Phase I:Low Cost Scanning Micro-Lidar for High Volume Commercial and Humanitarian Products
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
2223 Eastman Ave., Suite B, Suite BVentura, CA, 93003
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will initiate the development of a low cost scanning micro- Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) for commercial and humanitarian applications. A major aim is to introduce revolutionary technology that will drive down the cost of the overall micro-lidar system to the required price range for the intended applications. In order to achieve this goal, a unique monolithic imaging Focal Plane Array (FPA) will be developed, incorporating a silicon avalanche photodiode (APD) array for image detection monolithically integrated with a readout integrated circuit (ROIC). Such a device will be the first demonstration of an APD array and a ROIC integrated on a single silicon chip. This is a disruptive technology needed to drive down the cost of the overall micro-lidar system. The research objectives of the Phase I effort are to design, layout, fabricate and test individual APDs and APD arrays. The Phase I effort will also design and simulate the ROIC unit cell circuitry and fan-out electronics as well as building a prototype demonstration of the micro-lidar system. The broader impact / commercial potential of this project will be driven by the possibility of monolithically integrating photonic and electronic components to significantly lower the cost of lidar systems. Scientific and technological understanding will be enhanced in technology areas such as integrated components, photonic devices and photonic sensors. This will open up a large range of opportunities for commercial and humanitarian applications of deep societal impact in several market sectors, such as automotive, aviation, health industry and sensory assistance to people. Two examples of such opportunities are: automotive sensors to improve vehicle safety and assisting blind people with obstacle avoidance. The automotive application has a very large potential market where few US companies are currently participating. The adoption of these sensors has the potential of creating a large number of jobs. The reduced number of collisions resulting from the use of these sensors will have a strong impact on the quality of life of many people, of course. The application to assist blind people with obstacle avoidance also offers the opportunity of significantly changing their quality of life.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.