SBIR grant to lead to ultrasensitive near-infrared detectors
NASA has awarded a $70,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to Advanced Photonix (Camarillo, CA) for a near-infrared (NIR) version of its large-area avalanche photodiodes (APDs). James Ward, company chairman, said, "Silicon has inherently broad detection capabilities, and this award should extend large-area APD capability [and performance over the detection range]." The devices also offer immunity to magnetic fields, low distortion, ruggedness, and small size compared to photomultiplier tubes, according to the company. These APDs will hel¥NASA ma¥the Earth`s topo graphy and vegetation and may find use with NIR lasers for lidar atmospheric remote sensing. Future automobile collision warning or avoidance systems may also use the detectors.