High sensitivity, 1.06 um ladar photoreceivers with micro digitized pixels

Period of Performance: 05/28/2004 - 11/28/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Epitaxial Technologies, LLC
1450 South Roling Road
Baltimore, MD 21227
Principal Investigator


The objective of this Phase 1 SBIR project is to develop highly sensitive 1.06-um ladar photoreceivers for enhanced ABL and EKV resolution and engagement range, which will significantly increase their hit-to-kill capability. The basis of the proposed effort is a combination of on-chip digitization and optical amplification to enhance sensitivity, fill-factor without sacrificing the bandwidth and increasing the transmit energy level. In Phase 1, we will design and implement optically preamplified pixels that will obviate the need for electronic amplification before digitization. The optical preamplification will be as high as 20 dB and will be based on the Company's VCSOA technology adapted for 1.064-um operation. We will design an integral digitizer based on the resonant tunneling bipolar transistor (the micro digitizer), which will enable high bit digitization using more than an order of magnitude lower part count than state-of-the-art digitization techniques, and reduce the size of the digitizer. This will enable high fill-factor pixel-level digitization. During Phase II, we will optimize the optically preamplified pixels, implement the on-pixel digitization and produce 10 x 10 photoreceiver arrays with -58 dBm sensitivity at 1.4 GHz bandwidth (2.5 Gsps), to enable a ladar range of at least 300 Km with less than 30 cm resolution.