High Sensitivity Indium Phosphide Based Avalanche Photodiode Focal Plane Arrays

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$600K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nlight Photonics
5408 NE 88th Street, Building E
Vancouver, WA 98665
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

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 ýý all of which are of concern in NASA applications such as the un-manned Lunar or Mars landing vehicles.