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Home » News » SBIR Award : High Performance Uncooled Focal Plane Arrays

SBIR Award : High Performance Uncooled Focal Plane Arrays

3/04/08

Science Research Laboratory (SRL) proposes to develop a novel uncooled thermal-to-visible transducer  (TVT) that will revolutionize long-wavelength-infrared (LWIR) imaging. The technology utilizes as a sensor a Fabry-Perot interferometer that is heated by absorbing LWIR radiation, which changes its reflectivity in the visible. Reflected light, imaged onto a CCD or CMOS array, provides an image of the LWIR distribution on the sensor. Advantages of the TVT include (1) lower power consumption and heating than conventional IR bolometers; (2) physical decoupling of the microelectronics from the IR FPA substrate, allowing the imager to utilize existing, off-the-shelf, visible CMOS detector technology and to leverage rapid advances of the CCD/CMOS imager industry;  (3) a revolutionarily low cost of $20-$40 for the sensor module and $400 for the camera, many times less expensive than existing instruments; and (5) potential for fusion of visible and thermal-IR images, the two images being automatically registered and boresighted.  In Phase II SRL will fabricate requisite reflectivity-coated sensors and use them to conduct proof-of-principle demonstrations of the technology.

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