FOUR-QUADRANT INGAAS AVALANCHE PHOTODIODES FOR LEO DIRECT-TO-EARTH OPTICAL GROUND STATION (ARTES 6C.016)

Description

Objective: The objectives of the activity are to demonstrate the operation of a Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) four-quadrant Avalanche Photodiode (4QD-APD) detectors in a combined tracking/communication receiver mode and to facilitate the establishment of a European supplier for high-speed large area four-quadrant avalanche photodiodes. Targeted Improvements: Significantly higher tracking speed avoiding power splitting between a separate tracking sensor and data receiver. Room temperature operation. Simpler receiver design. Description: Four-quadrant avalanche photodiode for wavelengths beyond 950 nm are commercially not available. A key aspect of any low-noise photodiode is the pre-amplifier, typically a trans-impedance amplifier (TIA). While four-quadrant InGaAs (non Avalanche) photodiodes with high-performance amplifiers can be found, the TIA is the performance limiting component in a photon-starved application. This is due to the extremely low signal from the detector (few or even single electrons), not in effect a lack of performance in the TIA itself. Exchanging the photodiode for an avalanche photodiode, with in-built gain (the avalanche process) amplifies thevery low detector signal with very little (or even no) additional noise prior to reaching the pre-amplifier, lifting the detector signal above the TIA noise threshold.This activity will design, manufacture and characterise four-quadrant InGaAs avalanche photodiodes, complete with matched transimpedance amplifier. The tasks include:-Detector/amplifier requirements review and consolidation-Preliminary detector/amplifier design and trade-off-Detailed detector/amplifier design-Detector/amplifier manufacture-Detector/amplifier characterisation-End-to-end system testing with and optical on-off-keying (O3K) modem to verify specified receiver sensitivity at given data rate and bit error rate (BER).Procurement Policy: C(2) = A relevant participation (in terms of quality and quantity) of non-primes (incl. SMEs) is required. For additional information please go to:http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Business_with_ESA/Small_and_Medium_Sized_En…

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