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Geiger-Mode Avalanche Detector Array for Optical Communications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0274
Agency Tracking Number: 194143
Amount: $124,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H9
Solicitation Number: SBIR_19_P1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-02-18
Small Business Information
15985 Northwest Schendel Avenue, Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97006-6703
United States
DUNS: 124348652
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Huntington
 Senior Engineer
 (971) 223-5646
Business Contact
 Debra Ozuna
Phone: (971) 223-5646
Research Institution

Single-photon-counting detectors optimal for NASA long-range freespace optical telecommunications will be developed. The proposed effort addresses NASArsquo;s need for reliable sources of radiation-hardened 1064-nm- and 1550-nm-sensitive single-photon photoreceivers for deep-space communications. There has been previous investment in single-photon-sensitive detector arrays; InGaAs APD pixels operating in Geiger mode (GM) are the most popular single-photon detectors in this spectral range as they do not require cryogenic cooling. However, performance improvements are need in InGaAs GM-APD focal-plane arrays (FPAs), and multiple reliable suppliers need to be established.nbsp; To address this need, two growth and fabrication campaigns will be conducted. Each five-wafer growth campaign will include: single-element devices of various diameters, small-sized arrays, and larger-format GM-APD arrays.nbsp; Characterization of the variable-diameter single-element devices, as a function of temperature and area/volume ratio, will be performed to identify sources of dark counts. Testing of arrays will be used to establish breakdown voltage uniformity, optical crosstalk, and yield. The demonstration of the performance of working GM-APD devices will significantly reduce the risk of the Phase II effort. In Phase II, large-format GM-APD arrays will be fabricated and hybridized to an existing deep-space communications readout integrated circuit (ROIC).

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

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