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Highly Sensitive Flash LADAR Camera, Phase II

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

To address the urgent need for 3D flash-lidar technology for landing on solar system bodies and for spacecraft rendezvous and docking with satellites, an effort is proposed to fabricate, characterize, and test a versatile, high-sensitivity InGaAs APD 3D flash lidar and to advance the technology-readiness level (TRL) of lidar technologies suitable for NASA mission requirements. Leveraging an existing InGaAs APD focal-plane array (FPA) technology, improvements will be made to increase its reliability and performance. The high-gain, low-excess-noise APD FPAs will be characterized and integrated with miniature camera electronics, along with a medium-pulse-energy, high-repetition-rate, ultra-compact, pulsed diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser. The lidar sensor will be shown to meet NASA needs in terms of sensitivity and 5-cm range resolutions. Using these results, a large-format (e.g. 1024 x 1024, or larger) FPA will be designed for qualification for space missions. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas