2ns High Sensitivity APD Front End Receiver Modules
Princeton Lightwave’s PLA-6XX series APD with GaAs-based FET transimpedance amplifier product family offers industry-leading sensitivity in multiple packaging formats. These modules leverage PLI’s high performance, planar InP-InGaAs avalanche photodiodes (APDs) developed specifically for demanding low light level detection in ranging, LADAR and scientific applications.
- Laser Radar (LADAR) and Rangefinding
- Low-level Optical Pulse Discrimination
- Free-space Optical Communication
- Optical Time Domain Reflectometry
- Confocal Microscopy
The PLA-641 incorporates the above features in a 6-pin, TO-46 style package. It achieves a 100-MHz bandwidth, enabling sub-nanosecond timing accuracy. The ultra low noise of the GaAs-based FET amplifier, in combination with the low dark current of the APD, offers excellent low light-level performance over a wide operating temperature range. The APD module also includes circuitry for overload protection of the receiver, and to enhance recovery from high optical input pulses. The combination of minimal dependence on temperature variation, un-cooled operation and compact packaging enables significant SWaP (size, weight and power) advantages.
For more demanding applications where the dependence of the APD operating voltage on temperature must be controlled by temperature stabilization, the PLA-63X and PLA-66X version incorporate, in a flanged packaging format, the receiver performance of the PLA-641 with an internal thermo-electric cooler (TEC) and temperature sensor. The PLA-63X is a TO- 37 module designed to provide a compactness approaching that of the PLA-641 while providing an internal TEC. The PLA-66X receiver is a TO-66 module, also with an internal TEC, designed to provide drop-in compatibility with industry standard pin-outs for applications in legacy systems.
All versions are assembled in a hermetic enclosure, and incorporate packaging designs and processes that ensure robust, reliable operation in harsh environments.