High-Speed Radiation Tolerant Avalanche Photodiodes Based on InGaN for Space Altimeter Systems

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$125,000.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX12CE51P
Agency Tracking Number:
115603
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
S1.04
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Integrated Micro Sensors, Inc.
TX, Houston, TX, 77096-4934
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
007189033
Principal Investigator:
David Starikov
Principal Investigator
(713) 748-7926
dstarikov@imsensors.com
Business Contact:
David Starikov
Business Official
(713) 748-7926
dstarikov@imsensors.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
High-performance, radiation-tolerant detectors are required for the time-of-flight laser based rangefinders. Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are conventionally chosen as detectors for standard laser rangefinder systems. However, the performance of currently used APDs degrades significantly after exposure to high levels of radiation. Integrated Micro Sensors Inc (IMS, Houston, TX)) proposes novel intrinsically radiation-tolerant III nitrides based high-speed APDs superior for use in space-based laser-altimeter systems. The Indium Gallium Nitride (InGaN) alloy has the potential of forming photovoltaic devices covering a range of 0.7 eV (InN) to 3.4 eV (GaN). This energy range allows for providing a perfect match to the 1.06 um wavelength (~1.17 eV) of the lasers used in the time-of-flight range finders. The III-Nitrides exhibit inherent chemical and thermal ruggedness, which makes them suitable for several space and military applications. It has recently been determined that these Nitride materials can offer exceptional radiation tolerance that is well beyond what can be achieved with conventional materials that are currently flown into space. The InGaN APDs to be developed in this project will be targeted for operating conditions up to 250 oC, and up to 2 MeV proton irradiation, which are substantially higher than those for the standard currently used materials, such as Si or GaAs. IMS envisions that devices developed in this project would be especially beneficial to Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) that requires high performance sensors and detectors that can operate with low noise under the severe radiation environment.The ultimate goal of this project is to develop high-speed, radiation-tolerant visible-blind APDs responding to laser beams of 1.06 um wavelength for rangefinder applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites


SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government