High Sensitivity Indium Phosphide Based Avalanche Photodiode Focal Plane Arrays

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Amount:
$599,934.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
NNX09CB31C
Solitcitation Year:
2007
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2009
Phase:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
075074
Solicitation Topic Code:
X2.02
Small Business Information
nLight Photonics
5408 NE 88th Street, Building E, Vancouver, WA, 98665-0990
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
799811646
Principal Investigator
 Steve Patterson
 Principal Investigator
 (360) 566-4460
 steve.patterson@nlight.net
Business Contact
 Paul Leisher
Title: Device Engineer
Phone: (360) 566-4460
Email: paul.leisher@nlight.net
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
nLight has demonstrated highly-uniform APD arrays based on the highly sensitive InGaAs/InP material system. These results provide great promise for achieving the performance and uniformity requirements necessary to enable 3D LIDAR applications such as autonomous precision landing and hazard detection avoidance. The high degree of uniformity demonstrated offers the potential for biasing the entire APD FPA at a single bias point. This is expected to lead to a dramatic reduction in the complexity of the integrated circuit driver, and allow for scaling to arrays of 256x256 elements and larger. Combined with reduced transmitter power requirements due to high detector sensitivity and low noise, this will ultimately lead to improved compactness, low mass, improved resolution, and low power consumption – all of which are of concern in NASA applications such as the un-manned Lunar or Mars landing vehicles. In the proposed Phase 2 program, nLight will optimize the performance and demonstrate manufacturability of the highly uniform epitaxy demonstrated in the first phase. These InGaAs APDs are expected to show gains in excess of 10, with very low dark current and noise factors, making them well suited for LIDAR detection. Highly-uniform dense focal plane arrays of various sizes up to 256x256 elements will be fabricated and tested. These arrays will be flip-chip bonded to read-out integrated circuitry for testing in 3D flash LIDAR cameras.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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