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Geiger-mode avalanche photodetector camera technology at Ball Aerospace
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Paper Abstract

Ball Aerospace has signed an exclusive license agreement to be the sole manufacturer of the Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (GmAPD) light detection and ranging (LIDAR) cameras for the defense and aerospace industries. The license was provided by Argo AI, which acquired the former manufacturer of the technology, Princeton Lightwave Inc. (PLI), in October 2017. Over the past 10 years PLI developed and advanced GmAPD detectors and cameras capable of detecting single photons. This detector sensitivity combined onto multi-pixel arrays enables high resolution LIDAR and communication systems, which are capable of extended range operation with significant savings to system size, weight, and power. Specific applications of this technology include target detection, acquisition, tracking, 3D mapping, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions capable of direct and coherent detection. In this work, we review the current state of this technology focusing on the three options of Geiger-mode cameras that will be manufactured by Ball Aerospace. Moreover, we present details of expected camera and detector performance (e. g. Format, Photon Detection Efficiency, Dark Count Rate, Wavelength, Timing), review production, manufacturing capabilities, and update the community on future technology paths for anticipated customer needs. Ball Aerospace will manufacture and further develop Geiger-mode LIDAR camera technology as the premier merchant supplier of advanced, large-format, single photon sensitive camera products and systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2019
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11005, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXIV, 1100511 (2 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2522619
Show Author Affiliations
Piotr K. Kondratko, Ball Aerospace (United States)
Ronda Irwin, Ball Aerospace (United States)
Amber Strevey, Ball Aerospace (United States)
Jim Medbery, Ball Aerospace (United States)
Patrick Earhart, Ball Aerospace (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11005:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXIV
Monte D. Turner; Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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