DoD SBIR 23.3 BAA

Active
No
Status
Closed
Release Date
August 23rd, 2023
Open Date
September 20th, 2023
Due Date(s)
October 18th, 2023
Close Date
October 18th, 2023
Topic No.
OSD233-004

Topic

Advanced Single-Photon Avalanche Diode for 1030 nm (SPAD-1030)

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2023

Summary

The Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking proposals for the topic "Advanced Single-Photon Avalanche Diode for 1030 nm (SPAD-1030)" as part of their SBIR 23.3 BAA. The research objective is to develop a single-photon avalanche detector optimized for mm-accurate multi-kHz satellite and lunar laser ranging at 1030 nm. The current SLR/LLR receive-detector technology relies on gated, large-area Si-based single-pixel sensors operating at 532 nm. However, operating at 1030/1064 nm offers advantages such as improved eye safety and better atmospheric transmission. The aim of this effort is to design and develop a single-photon detector (single pixel, or array) optimized for 1030 nm SLR/LLR applications. The solicitation provides notional specifications for the detector's performance metrics. The project will be conducted in three phases: Phase I involves trade study and design, Phase II focuses on fabrication and integration of an engineering development unit, and Phase III involves final design, fabrication, and performance characterization of six prototype units. The project duration and funding specifics are not provided in the document. For more information, refer to the solicitation link on SBIR.gov.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Technology

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a single-photon avalanche detector for mm-accurate multi-kHz satellite and lunar laser ranging at 1030 nm.

 

DESCRIPTION: High-accuracy satellite and lunar laser ranging (SLR/LLR) stations have heavily relied upon the availability of short pulse, frequency-doubled Nd:YAG and Yb:YAG lasers. This has driven SLR/LLR receive-detector development toward fairly wide-use of gated, large-area ( 100 m) Si-based single-pixel sensors having peak photon sensitivity ( 30%) near 532 nm, with quenching circuits and time-walk compensation for <18 picosecond (ps) timing jitter at multi-kHz repetition rates. Operating at 1030/1064 nm, however, provides significant advantages over green systems, including improved eye safety (flash blindness and dazzling) and better atmospheric transmission that manifest in gains in link margin and ranging precision. The aim of this effort is to design and develop a single-photon detector  (single pixel, or array) optimized for for 1030 nm SLR/LLR applications according to notional specifications outlined in Table 1.

 

Table 1. Performance Metrics

			Parameter Description
		
		
			Other Detail
		
		
			Notional Specifications
		
		
			Unit
		
	
	
		
			Min
		
		
			Typical
		
		
			Max
		
		
			 
		
	
	
		
			Spectral response range
		
		
			 
		
		
			≤950 to ³1150
		
		
			nm
		
	
	
		
			Peak sensitivity wavelength
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			1030
		
		
			 
		
		
			nm
		
	
	
		
			Effective photosensitive diameter
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			100
		
		
			 
		
		
			mm
		
	
	
		
			Photon detection efficiency (PDE)
		
		
			Single photon
		
		
			 
		
		
			³ 30
		
		
			 
		
		
			%
		
	
	
		
			Time walk
		
		
			 
		
		
			-10
		
		
			 
		
		
			+10
		
		
			ps
		
	
	
		
			Dark count
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			≤ 2500
		
		
			 
		
		
			Hz
		
	
	
		
			Internal/external gating frequency
		
		
			 
		
		
			1
		
		
			 
		
		
			107
		
		
			Hz
		
	
	
		
			Gate duration range
		
		
			 
		
		
			0.5
		
		
			 
		
		
			1000
		
		
			ns
		
	
	
		
			Gate duration step
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			≤ 100
		
		
			 
		
		
			ps
		
	
	
		
			Reference output
		
		
			Required
		
		
			 
		
		
			TTL*
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
	
	
		
			Gate output
		
		
			Required
		
		
			 
		
		
			TTL*
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
	
	
		
			Detection output
		
		
			Required
		
		
			 
		
		
			TTL*
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
	
	
		
			External gate trigger input
		
		
			Required
		
		
			 
		
		
			TTL*
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
	
	
		
			Operating temperature
		
		
			 
		
		
			-20
		
		
			 
		
		
			35
		
		
			°C
		
	
	
		
			Detection head dimension
		
		
			LxWxH  137x50x50
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			mm
		
	
	
		
			Control unit dimension
		
		
			LxWxH  225x170x50
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			mm
		
	
	
		
			Cooling Time
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
		
			5
		
		
			 
		
		
			min
		
	
	
		
			Connector type
		
		
			Preferred
		
		
			 
		
		
			SMA**
		
		
			 
		
		
			 
		
	

*Transitor-Transitor Logic

**SubMiniature version A

 

PHASE I: Trade study and design of a gated, Geiger-mode single-photon avalanche diode detection head and signal conditioning electronics, including quenching circuit and time-walk compensation logic according to Table 1. Details of the temperature stability and cooling architecture (i.e. thermoelectric cooler stages) shall be articulated. Develop a Phase II plan to build and test the “SPAD-1030” prototype that includes schedule, cost, milestones and a device characterization plan. Deliver detailed trade study, analysis and initial design documentation in a Phase I technical data package.

 

PHASE II: Design, fabricate, and integrate an engineering development unit of SPAD-1030 , that is consistent with performance identified in notional parameters in Table 1, and with Phase I trade study results and design activities. Characterize the PDE over the spectral response range. Work with a Government Laboratory partner to conduct an evaluation of the engineering  development unit SPAD-1030 on an active laser ranging system.

Upon successful developmental test and evaluation of the engineering unit, complete a final design incorporating lessons learned for optimized mission use and performance. Complete a comprehensive Phase III integrated schedule and unit cost estimate for the development, fabrication, and unit test of six (6) prototype SPAD-1030. Deliver engineering development unit, design documentation, and characterization plan, raw data, and analysis of results in a Phase 2 technical data package.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Complete final design documentation,  performance characterization and factory acceptance test plan. Complete fabrication,  integration, updated prototype packaging and comprehensive performance characterization of six (6) SPAD-1030 prototype units according to the plan developed in Phase II.  Work with Government Laboratory partner to integrate prototype SPAD-1030 with existing

laser ranging system to verify performance for target mission. Deliver all prototypes and Phase III technical data package.

 

REFERENCES:

Kirchner, G. & Koidl, F. Compensation of SPAD time-walk effects. J. Opt. A: Pure Appl. 1, 163 (1999);
Procházka, I., Kodet, J. & Blažej, J. Note: Solid state photon counters with sub-picosecond timing stability. Rev. Sci. Instr. 84, 046107 (2013);
Michálek, V., Procházka, I. & Blažej, J. Twenty years of Rad-Hard K14 SPAD in Space Projects. Sensors 15, 18178-18196; doi:10.3390/s150818178 (2015)

KEYWORDS: Time-Walk Compensation; SPAD; 1064 nm; 1030 nm; Satellite Laser Ranging