Military imaging is the largest application sector for shortwave infrared (SWIR) detectors, followed by spectroscopy (for the sorting of products and materials), and thermal sensing. Each application places different demands on the detectors, and fulfilling these requirements has driven the production of higher-quality, lower-cost imagers. The Visible SWIR Camera images digital pictures under day and starlight-only conditions, enabling the transmission of those images between soldiers on the battlefield. Additional functions are a windowing capability for comm link reception, and range-gating ability (viewing a specific depth of field at a specified range.) The combination of gated and video imaging is achieved through a high bandwidth pixel with a capacitive transimpedance amplifier (CTIA) design. Two different sensitivities in the CTIA pixel are achieved by switching between two feedback capacitor sizes, allowing for different illumination conditions. Anti-blooming is provided in the all solidstate gated camera, to prevent charge spreading from oversaturated pixels. All pixels are gated simultaneously for "snapshot" exposure. The low dark current and high bandwidth of the InGaAs photodetectors enables both high sensitivity imaging at long exposure times and high bandwidth at short exposure times. The spectral response of InGaAs extends from 0.9 μm to 1.7 μm, The Visible SWIR Camera is very reliable, in addition to being small and lightweight.
An inexpensive, easily integrated, 40 Gbps photoreceiver operating in the communications band would revolutionize the telecommunications industry. While generation of 40 Gbps data is not difficult, its reception and decoding require specific technologies. We present a 40 Gbps photoreceiver that exceeds the capabilities of current devices. This photoreceiver is based on a technology we call "nanodust." This new technology enables nanoscale photodetectors to be embedded in matrices made from a different semiconductor, or directly integrated into a CMOS amplification circuit. Photoreceivers based on quantum dust technology can be designed to operate in any spectral region, including the telecommunications bands near 1.31 and 1.55 micrometers. This technology also lends itself to normal-incidence detection, enabling a large detector size with its associated increase in sensitivity, even at high speeds and reception wavelengths beyond the capability of silicon.
Empirical data regarding the radiation induced responses of Mach Zehnder interferometric electro-optic polymer based modulators (PBMs) operating at 1310 and 1550 nm and broadband InP quantum dot (QD) polymer photodetectors (PPDs) operating into the near infrared (NIR) are reported. Modulators composed of spun-on materials and hybrid electostatically self assembled (ESA) and spun-on NLO materials are examined for changes to their half-wave voltage and insertion losses following a gamma-ray total dose of 163 krad(Si) and irradiation by 25.6 MeV protons at a fluence of ~1011 cm-2. Pre- and post- irradiation responses of ESA grown polymer detectors using InP QDs are examined for photovoltage degradation and aging effects. The data indicates and excellent potential for developing polymer based photonic (PBP) devices with increased radiation resistance suitable for transition to photonic space applications.
Two second-order nonlinear optical chromophoric materials were investigated for their response to gamma-ray irradiations for doses ranging from approximately 10-104 krad(Si). Thin film polymer modulators composed of a mixture of amorphous polycarbonate and phenyltetraene [APC/CLD-1(CPW-1)] active regions with UV upper and lower UV claddings were investigated for their pre- and post-irradiation behavior. Modulator Vπ insertion loss, and extinction ratio responses were examined, while a blend of salmon deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)- hexadeCetylTriMethylAmmonium Chloride (CTMA) film samples were studied for their spectral response following irradiations over the spectral range λ=240-2600 nm. Following irradiation ranging from 9.6-104 krad(Si), the DNA/CTMA films exhibited losses in transmissivity over the spectral range λ=882-2600 nm and increased transmissivity over portions of the 240 nm < λ < 882 nm band. Data from the study also suggested that strongly poled APC/CPW-1 modulators operating at λ=1550 nm and exhibiting low Vπ values were less likely to have their half-wave voltages affected by ionizing radiation. The optical insertion losses for the majority of the APC/CPW-1 irradiated mdolators were found to decrease following irradiation. Discussion of the experimental results and mechanisms believed responsible for the post-irradiation behavior and results are presented.
Future space-based platforms can and will benefit from the implementation of photonics in both analog and digital subsystems. This paper will discuss potential applications and advantages to the platforms through the use of photonics.
Phase Array Antennas provided angular scanning (beam steering) from fixed antenna structures. Photonics can accomplish the beam steering with improvements in size and weight along with the remoting benefits utilizing fiber optics. Photonic advantages include True Time Delay beam steering eliminating the beam squint imposed by phase shifted signals produced in an electronic implementation. Another benefit of beam steering is the ability to position nulls in the spacial pattern to reduce the interference signals. Hybrid circuits utilizing both photonic and electronic components take advantages of the best aspects of each technology. Various types of photonic implementations are included.