The objective of the project is to examine a method for increasing the effectiveness of the photodetector by processing the small photodetector current rather than converting the signal to a relatively large voltage suitable for application to an analog-to-digital converter. The concept presents the potential to lower the laser power required, minimize data acquisition and data storage needs, and conduct "real-time" data interpretation.
This delta-sigma technique may be thought of as a form of analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The proposed network offers a means of processing electronic signals from transducers directly into a form of digital representation. By using integrated circuit methodologies, it is expected that very small signals can be measured more accurately than the more usual discrete-evel methods (ie: using discrete parts and printed circuit boards). In this particular study, these techniques are applied to photodetectors. By maintaining the quality of signals in the lower end of the dynamic range, a successful implementation will allow the use of smaller lasers (or further detection range for the same laser power) for a given application while implementing the receiving electronics in a much smaller and lower power package.More »
The successful implementation is not constrained to laser/photodetector systems - the methodology may be applied to most low level electronic measurement systems. The developed system replaces one or more printed circuit boards and can be incorporated into "systems" as a discrete part.
Methodology is implemented as integrated circuit (IC). The successful project is focused towards weaker signals allowing some combination of lower transmitting power and longer detection range. The smaller volume and power requirements of the IC permits incorporation into "small-sat" projects. Decreased computational overhead allows lower data transmission bandwidth and decreases time necessary for data reduction and interpretation.
Dedicated and adaptable unit decreases design time for various applications. Finished unit is adaptable to most low signal level transducers. Significantly smaller package and lower power decreases physical receive electronics footprint. Can significantly reduce computational overhead and data transmission bandwidthMore »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Langley Research Center (LaRC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Hampton, Virginia|