NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Successful Space Flight of High-Speed InGaAs Photodiode Onboard the International Space StationPhotonic systems are required for several space applications, including satellite communication links and lidar sensors. Although such systems are ubiquitous in terrestrial applications, deployment in space requires the constituent components to withstand extreme environmental conditions, including wide operating temperature range, mechanical shock and vibration, and radiation. These conditions are significantly more stringent than alternative standards, namely Bellcore GR-468 and MIL-STD 883, which may be satisfied by typical, commercially available, photonic components. Furthermore, it is very difficult to simultaneously reproduce several aspects of space environment, including exposure to galactic cosmic rays (GCR), in a laboratory. Therefore, it is necessary to operate key photonic components in space to achieve a technology readiness level of 7 and beyond. Accordingly, the International Space Station (ISS) provides an invaluable test bed for qualifying such components for space missions. We present a fiber-pigtailed photodiode module, having a -3 dB bandwidth of 16.8 GHz, that survived 18 months on the ISS as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) 7 mission. This module was launched by NASA Langley Research Center on November 16, 2009 on the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-129), as part of their lidar transceiver components. While orbiting on the ISS in a passive experiment container, the photodiode module was exposed to extreme temperature cycling from -157 degrees Celsius to +121 degrees Celsius 16 times a day, proton radiation from the inner Van Allen belt at the South Atlantic Anomaly, and galactic cosmic rays. The module returned to Earth on the Space Shuttle Endeavor (STS-134) on June 1, 2011 for further characterization. The post flight test of the photodiode module, shown in Fig. 1a, demonstrates no change in the module's performance, thus proving its survivability during launch and in space environment.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Joshi, Abhay
(Discovery Semiconductors, Inc. Ewing, NJ, United States)
Prasad, Narasimha
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Datta, Shubbashish
(Discovery Semiconductors, Inc. Ewing, NJ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2017
Publication Date
July 17, 2017
Subject Category
Electronics And Electrical Engineering
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
ISS R&D Conference 2017(Washington, DC)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 833011.02.07.89CF.17
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available