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Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing

Geiger-mode DAPD arrays

Amplification Technologies

Amplification Technologies Corp. announces the availability of a new family of Discrete Amplification Photon Detector (DAPD) Geiger mode avalanche photodiode arrays for 3D LIDAR and other applications.

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) range finding systems have been in use for many years for civil and defense applications, measuring distance using a pulse of a laser beam aimed toward an object and measuring the time‐of‐flight of the reflected beam.

A similar approach is used to create 3D images of fixed or moving objects, useful for generating and complementing conventional image technologies in autonomous terrestrial vehicles (including self-driving cars) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). For 3D imaging, the conventional approach uses a single laser beam opto‐mechanical scanner, requiring sophisticated optics and long scanning times.

Recently a better approach is being explored for real‐time 3D imaging of moving targets: single pulse LIDAR imaging using arrays. Each channel of the array receives the reflected signal of a single laser pulse from the object thus building a 3D image. Repetition of this single-pulse measurement adds the ability to track the object's movement over time.

Amplification Technologies' 5x5 (25 pixel) DAPD array offers single-photon level detection ability, wide dynamic range, and a wide linearity range, and an extremely high repetition rate of up to 50MHz. In addition, the DAPD array can operate in an always-on mode with fast response. The DAPD array uses discrete amplification photon detector (DAPD) technology, which monolithically integrates a negative feedback circuit within the photodetector to create very high sensitivity.

These arrays are offered both at the component level and as a module that includes a network of pre-amplifiers. This module can simplify evaluation and facilitate integration with analog to digital conversion systems. A 5x5 module is currently available and a 10x10 module is currently under development.

The 5x5 array module includes a network of 25 independent pre-amplifiers and an active thermo-electric cooler that is capable of cooling the DAPD array sensor to 40C°. Each of these 25 pixels is amplified individually to allow for separated simultaneous signal processing of each pixel. The operating wavelength range of the array is from 950nm to 1650nm.