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Rev Sci Instrum. 2017 Nov;88(11):115004. doi: 10.1063/1.5009583.

In situ ultraviolet shock radiance measurements using GaN-on-sapphire photodetectors.

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Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
AMA, Inc. at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA.
Jacobs Technology at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA.


Gallium nitride (GaN)-on-sapphire photodetectors are used to measure the ultraviolet (UV) radiance behind a shock wave in support of atmospheric entry sensing technologies. DC spectral response characterization of the GaN-based photodetectors shows a peak response around 365 nm with an UV/visible rejection of an order of magnitude. To conduct in situ measurements of UV shock-layer radiation, the GaN-based photodetectors were installed, without protective packaging, in the test section of a shock tube. The measured UV radiation, in terms of incident optical power on the photodetectors, is in excellent agreement with average UV radiation measured by the shock tube facility spectrometers. Furthermore, the device response after being subjected to the shock wave is unaltered, suggesting that the GaN-based material platform is suitable for implementation in aerospace and other harsh environment sensing applications.


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