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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Superconducting Nanowire Single Photon Detectors for Deep Space Optical Communication
Disciplines:  Physics/Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering
Mentor:  Matthew Shaw, (JPL), Matthew.D.Shaw@jpl.nasa.gov, Phone: (818) 393-9071
Background:  Our research group develops superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD) arrays in the near infrared and ultraviolet for applications in deep-space optical communication, quantum optics, and exoplanet transit spectroscopy. These detectors are among the highest-performance single photon detectors in the world, with near-unit efficiency in the near infrared, few-picosecond time resolution, sub-hertz intrinsic dark counts, and maximum count rates in excess of 1 gigacount per second.
Description:  We are currently developing 64-pixel SNSPD arrays for use in a ground terminal for an upcoming Deep-Space Optical Communication technology demonstration mission. We have an opening for a student to assist with the characterization of the detectors and to demonstrate the performance of optical communication encoding schemes in the laboratory.
References:  F. Marsili, et. al, "Detecting Single Infrared Photons with 93% System Efficiency", Nature Photonics, 7, 210 (2013), Biswas, Abhijit, et al. "Deep space laser communications." Proc. SPIE. Vol. 9739. 2016.
Student Requirements:  This project would likely be of interest to students in Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Physics. It may also be of interest to students in Astronomy with an interest in superconducting detector instrumentation.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: Yes.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.


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