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SBIR/STTR

Geiger-Mode SiGe Receiver for Long-Range Optical Communications, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

The objective of this program is to develop, demonstrate and implement a photon-counting detector array sensitive in the wavelength range from 1000 nm to 1600 nm, with monolithically integrated time-tagging electronics, suitable for free-space optical communications, where high data volume returns from space missions are critical, such as in the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) and other future NASA missions. Conventional photon counting detector arrays are implemented in either Silicon (Si) or Mecury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe), negating detection at wavelengths longer than about 1000 nm in the case of Si or incurring high cost and complexity for HgCdTe. In this program, Freedom Photonics will develop a novel Geiger-mode Silicon Germanium (SiGe) receiver for photon counting applications with increased sensitivity for wavelengths in the range of 1000 nm to 1600 nm, which utilizes standard BiCMOS process, resulting in a low-cost, high-sensitivity, high-speed and radiation hard receiver for long-range optical communications. More »

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