The GEO-CAPE mission described in NASA’s Earth Science and Applications Decadal Survey requires high spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution measurements to monitor and characterize the rapidly changing chemistry of the troposphere over North and South Americas. High-frame-rate focal plane arrays (FPAs) with many pixels are needed to enable such measurements.
A high-throughput digital detector readout integrated circuit (ROIC) that meets the GEO-CAPE FPA needs has been developed, fabricated, and tested. The ROIC is based on an innovative charge integrating, fast, high-precision analog-to-digital circuit that is built into each pixel. The 128×128-pixel ROIC digitizes all 16,384 pixels simultaneously at frame rates up to 16 kHz to provide a completely digital output on a single integrated circuit at an unprecedented rate of 262 million pixels per second. The approach eliminates the need for off focal plane electronics, greatly reducing volume, mass, and power compared to conventional FPA implementations. A focal plane based on this ROIC will require less than 2 W of power on a 1×1- cm integrated circuit.
The ROIC is fabricated of silicon using CMOS technology. It is designed to be indium bump bonded to a variety of detector materials including silicon PIN diodes, indium antimonide (InSb), indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs), and mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) detector arrays to provide coverage over a broad spectral range in the infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectral ranges.
This work was done by David M. Rider, Bruce R. Hancock, Richard W. Key, Thomas J. Cunningham, Chris J. Wrigley, Suresh Seshadri, Stanley P. Sander, and Jean-Francois L. Blavier of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NPO-47320