Princeton Infrared Technologies Receives SBIR Phase II Award for Coherent LADAR Detectors

Posted May 08, 2019 by Princeton Infrared Technologies

Leading imaging technology expert, Princeton Infrared Technologies, has received a new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The Phase II SBIR contract will fund the development of detector arrays for coherent laser detection and ranging (LADAR). Princeton Infrared Technologies will focus on developing detector arrays using multi-quantum well materials enabling detection from 0.9 to 2.4 µm with low-dark current and high-quantum efficiency. This will enable a new generation of high-resolution cameras that can image at, or near, room temperature while allowing high sensitivity in the shortwave-infrared spectrum. The new arrays will be high speed, enabling next-generation coherent LADAR using arrays versus single-element detectors.

The SBIR Phase II project is a $750,000, 2-year effort that will concentrate on new material development. Princeton and its’ subcontractors will be conducting research on the development of new multi-quantum well materials, in addition to strained-superlattice materials manufactured on indium phosphide (InP) substrates. The R&D work will be supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

According to Princeton’s President, Martin H. Ettenberg, utilizing multi-quantum well materials will enable high-sensitivity detectors to image beyond what lattice-matched InGaAs detectors can detect in the SWIR range. These next-generation detector arrays will benefit long-range LADAR used by the Air Force to identify targets. Current systems require cryogenic cooling while these materials will not, thus vastly lowering costs, size, weight, and power. The material development will also be useful in the commercial sector for spectroscopy and industrial imaging.