Military applications could also make use of high speed, sensitive photodetectors operating at 1.06 µm or 1.5 µm wavelengths. There are also additional potential applications such as LIDAR remote sensing at these wavelengths.
NASA is working on the development of optical communication technologies for such important applications as long range space to ground communication links, intersatellite links, Earth orbiting to ground, networking formation flying spacecraft, and several others. All of these applications currently lack an adequate detector that would fully meet application requirements. The proposed detector has the potential to become the detector of choice for these applications and to enable the fulfillment of stated NASA mission goals of increasing data transfer rates by a factor of 10-100 compared to the currently used RF techniques. The new capabilities enabled by the detector could significantly expand the use of optical communication solutions.