We report the design, construction, and parameters of a detector package based on a germanium avalanche photodiode operated in the Geiger mode cooled to 77 K. The new design of the active quenching circuit, proper diode structure, and cryogenic cooling setup permitted us to increase the detector's active area to 0.1-mm diameter while maintaining an acceptable dark-count rate, timing resolution, and photon-counting sensitivity at 1.54 μm. The active-area size and the compact design of the detector package permitted its application in satellite laser ranging at 0.532- and 1.543-μm wavelengths, yielding subcentimeter ranging precision.
© 1996 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article
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