Arradiance, Inc. a Sudbury, MA-based developer of advanced process and materials for electron amplification, has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The grant will enable the company to develop a new technology which could replace decades-old microchannel plates (MCPs) currently used in a variety of space imaging and sensing applications.
If successful, the program will allow MCPs to be manufactured on a variety of substrates that may prove more suitable to the rigors of space, while providing improved imaging resolution, lower noise, less power consumption, improved lifetime and greater flexibility in design parameters including detector size.
Microchannel plates are used in numerous imaging and detection applications where high spatial and temporal resolution coupled with high signal to noise ratio are important. Applications include space science, biotechnology, analytical instrumentation, homeland security and night vision.
One of the drawbacks of using conventional MCPs for high resolution imaging is that they have relatively high ion noise due to the manufacturing process and must be stacked in a specific manner to work around this problem. The new technology would eliminate this problem, allowing for simpler and more reliable designs.