NASA to Develop Infrared Detectors that Require Less Cooling
News - Staff reports
Author: CompoundSemi News Staff
November 21, 2011... NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been selected to develop new technologies that could change the way we look at planets from above. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California USA, will use advanced compound semiconductor materials to develop new technologies for the High Operating Temperature Infrared Sensor Demonstration. The higher the temperature at which an infrared detector can operate, the less power is required to cool it. The goal for the development effort is to achieve 100 percent cost savings compared with traditional cryogenically cooled infrared sensors.
The reduced power needs can translate into operational cost and system weight savings which could be used in many future NASA Earth and planetary science instruments, as well as for U.S. commercial and defense applications. NASA notes that the weight and volume savings would allow for lighter and more compact instruments, an important consideration for a spacecraft's payload size and cost. NASA expects that the technology will have spinoff applications for commercial instrument manufacturers.
"The technology demonstration effort is different in the fact that we're focused on affordability concurrently with performance," said Sarath Gunapala of JPL, who is project manager for the High Operating Temperature Infrared Sensor Demonstration. "This technology has excellent potential for transitioning from laboratory demonstration to NASA and commercial product lines."
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