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Proceedings Paper

Superconducting nanowire single photon detectors for deep space optical communication (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Matthew Shaw; Francesco Marsili; Andrew Beyer; Ryan Briggs; Jason Allmaras; William H. Farr

Paper Abstract

The Deep Space Optical Communication (DSOC) project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory aims to perform a bidirectional laser communication technology demonstration from deep space, at ranges from 0.1 - 3 AU. To support high data rates over such distances while keeping the mass and power on the spacecraft comparable to radio-frequency communication systems, extremely high-performance single photon detectors are required at the ground receiver. To this end, JPL has been developing 64-pixel tungsten silicide superconducting nanowire single photon detector (WSi SNSPD) arrays suitable for use in the DSOC ground terminal. To efficiently couple to a 5-meter telescope aperture in the presence of atmospheric seeing, the arrays are free-space coupled and have a combined 320-micron diameter active area. The development is targeting 70% system detection efficiency at an operating wavelength of 1550 nm, 150 ps time resolution, a maximum count rate approaching 109 counts per second, a numerical aperture capable of supporting an f/1.2 beam, a background-limited dark count rate, and an operating temperature of 1 Kelvin. In this paper, we will present our progress toward these goals, both in terms of focal plane array development and cryogenic readout technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2017
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 10096, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX, 100960J (19 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2255836
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew Shaw, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Francesco Marsili, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Andrew Beyer, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Ryan Briggs, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jason Allmaras, California Institute of Technology (United States)
William H. Farr, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10096:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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