Space Qualification of InGaAs Photodiodes and Photoreceivers (2018)

  
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Abhay M. Joshi and Shubhashish Datta
Discovery Semiconductors Inc., Ewing, NJ, USA;

ABSTRACT

We present a variety of uncooled, packaged InGaAs photodiode and photoreceiver modules that have been successfully qualified, or are in the process of being qualified, for several space applications. These devices include multi-gigahertz 1060 nm to 1650 nm wavelength lattice-matched InGaAs photodetectors, lattice-mismatched InGaAs photodetectors for extended wavelength up to 2200 nm, and large-area ultra-low noise quad photoreceivers for gravitational wave detection. We describe the qualification process which involves a combination of MIL-STD tests, such as mechanical shock and vibration, proton and gamma radiation laboratory experiments, and successful space flight on-board the International Space Station through MISSE missions.

INTRODUCTION

Photodetectors have been deployed in satellites for low-speed passive sensing applications for decades. Photonics is expected to encroach on traditional microwave applications and significantly expand its role in space platforms. These applications include inter and intra satellite ultra-fast optical communication links, long baseline optical interferometers for gravitational wave detection, high-speed lidar sensors, and photonic clock generation, to name a few. For example, European Space Agency's upcoming lidar missions, namely AEOLUS and EarthCare missions, require 10 GHz bandwidth infra-red photodiodes as reference for the primary UV laser [1]. Multi-gigabit geostationary satellite-to-ground optical links are being implemented to significantly improve the data throughput over traditional microwave communication links [2]. The upcoming Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission promises to detect gravitational waves over 2.5 million kilometer baseline with an accuracy of 10 pm/sqrt(Hz), which far surpasses the capability of both terrestrial optical interferometers and space-based microwave interferometers [3]. Although photodetectors are available to address similar terrestrial applications, there is a dearth of space qualified counterparts that can withstand the harsh environmental conditions of space.
We present a variety of uncooled, packaged InGaAs photodiode and photoreceiver modules that have been successfully qualified, or are in the process of being qualified, for several space applications. These devices include multi-gigahertz 1060 nm to 1650 nm wavelength lattice-matched InGaAs photodetectors, lattice-mismatched InGaAs photodetectors for extended wavelength up to 2200 nm, and large-area ultra-low noise quad photoreceivers for gravitational wave detection. These devices are based on the ultra-fast Dual-Depletion Region (DDR) InGaAs photodiode structure that is inherently resilient to radiation. We describe the qualification process which involves a combination of MIL-STD tests, such as mechanical shock and vibration, proton and gamma radiation laboratory experiments, and successful space flight on-board the International Space Station (ISS) through Materials International Space Station Experiments (MISSE) missions.

REFERENCES


Event: SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing Conference (15 - 19 April), 2018, Orlando, Florida, United States

 

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