Future solar astronomy missions need UV- sensors that are "solar blind", i.e. insensitive at longer wavelengths where the solar radiation is orders of magnitude stronger and is frequently the limiting factor in photometric measurements in the UV- region. The high sensitivity of silicon CCDs and CMOS arrays in the visible and near infrared (IR) is a liability when employing these same arrays in the ultraviolet. As exemplified in the Hubble telescope instruments, long wavelength blocking filters exact a high price due to their low transmission in the ultraviolet. There are several identified missions where the detector arrays we have proposed here are ideally suited. These include: (1) NWO – New World Observer – a very large, two-spacecraft, coronagraphic telescope system to block out the light from a central star to see exoplanets. (Cash et al., 2009, Proc. SPIE 7436, 5. "The New Worlds Observer: the astrophysics strategic mission concept study") (2) THEIA – Telescope for Habitable Exoplanets and Interstellar/Intergalactic Astronomy (Sembach et al., 2010, AAS 21345801S. "A High Sensitivity Ultraviolet Spectrograph for the THEIA Mission") (3) as well as various Midsized Explorers (MidEx) and Small Explorer (SMEX) missions for UV spectroscopy and imaging.
The general design of the active pixel sensor can be adopted for detection of more energetic particles, such as EUV and soft-X-ray, and would be of nearly universal use in nuclear particle detection and spectroscopy. For the aircraft surface-to-air and air-to-air missile warning systems, presently employed by DoD, a low cost solid-state solar blind array would also be of considerable interest. Applications in related Silicon Carbide JFET based analog IC processes, offering temperature operation above 200oC, have tremendous value in the commercial, industrial & high temperature market space. A substantial host of industrial and under the hood automotive applications (about $31.2B analog market) such as factory automation, motor control, CNC machinery, EPS, BBW, would immediately be enabled with SiC JFET analog sub-circuits offering embedded power management & control functionality at higher temperatures. An immediate commercial opportunity would be to develop a SiC LJFET-based half bridge gate driver to drive SiC transistors, co-packaged together in a multi leg power module to provide a high temperature integrated power train solution with a significant reduction in system cooling for industrial motors, UPS, solar farms and electric vehicle markets. USCi partnering with companies as Powerex, Vincotech, Dynex Semi would lead to breakthrough module powertrain solutions being developed and commercially available within 12 months of Phase III.