Geiger-Mode SiGe Receiver for Long Range Optical Communications

Project: Research project

Description

The objective of this program is to develop, demonstrate and implement a 1550 nm sensitive photon-counting detector array 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 1550 nm in the case of Si or incurring high cost and complexity for HgCdTe. In this program, Freedom Photonics will partner with Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to develop a novel Geiger-mode Silicon Germanium (SiGe) receiver for photon counting applications with increased sensitivity for wavelengths >1000 nm, which utilizes BiCMOS process and post-process, resulting in a low-cost, high-sensitivity, high-speed and radiation hard receiver for long-range optical communications.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date4/9/184/8/20

Funding

  • National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA): $160,000.00

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optical communication
germanium
counting
receivers
photons
silicon
free-space optical communication
cadmium tellurides
sensitivity
detectors
space missions
marking
high speed
photonics
costs
radiation
electronics
wavelengths