Photodiode Preamplifiers

We investigate low-noise preamplifier solutions for LISA which help convert the laser signals into electrical signals.

In LISA, the laser signals used for picometer-precision metrology are converted into electrical signals by photodiodes. The faint, picowatt-level amplitudes of those laser signals set stringent constraints on the photodiode preamplifier noise.

We investigate preamplifier solutions based on low-noise, discrete transistors that outperform their OpAmp-based counterparts in terms of noise, bandwidth and power consumption. A transistor-based preamplifier is currently being used in prototype units for the LISA Mission.

The goal of the current prototypes is to achieve a Technology Readiness Level of 6, which means reaching the desired preamplifier performance in realistic mission conditions (thermal-vacuum, vibration, irradiation). Once this readiness level is achieved, our efforts will focus on supporting the design and test of the engineering and flight models of the LISA photodiode preamplifiers.


Fernandez Barranco, G.; Heinzel, G.: A dc-coupled, HBT-based transimpedance amplifier for the LISA quadrant photoreceivers. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 3068437 (2021)
Fernandez Barranco, G.; Sheard, B.; Dahl, C.; Mathis, W.; Heinzel, G.: A low-power, low-noise 37-MHz photoreceiver for intersatellite laser interferometers using discrete heterojunction bipolar transistors. IEEE Sensors Journal 18 (18 ), pp. 7414 - 7420 (2018)
Fernández Barranco, G.; Gerberding, O.; Schwarze, T. S.; Sheard, B.; Dahl, C.; Zender, B.; Heinzel, G.: Phase stability of photoreceivers in intersatellite laser interferometers. Optics Express 25 (7), pp. 7999 - 8010 (2017)
Fernández Barranco, G.; Tröbs, M.; Müller, V.; Gerberding, O.; Seifert, F.; Heinzel, G.: Spatially resolved photodiode response for simulating precise interferometers. Applied Optics 55 (24), pp. 6688 - 6693 (2016)

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