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Status of 3rd gen focal plane array IR detection modules in Germany

Status der IR-Matrixdetektormodule der dritten Generation in Deutschland
: Cabanski, W.; Breiter, R.; Koch, R.; Mauk, K.-H.; Rode, W.; Ziegler, J.; Schneider, H.; Walther, M.; Oelmaier, R.

Fifth International Military Sensing Symposium 2003 : Volume 47, No. 1
Ft. Belvoir: DTIC, 2003
International Military Sensing Symposium (MSS) <5, 2002, Gaithersburg/Md.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAF ()
QWIP; infrared; Infrarot; GaAs/AlGaAs; HgCdTe; thermal imaging camera; Wärmebildkamera; focal plane array; Bildfeldmosaik; noise-equivalent temperature difference; NETD; Rauschäquivalente Temperaturauflösung

The 3rd generation of infrared (IR) detection modules is expected to provide video resolution or even more pixels and advanced functions like multi-color or multi-band capability, higher frame rates and better thermal resolution. This paper is intended to present the present status at AIM on such technologies.
High speed wide-band and dual-color MCT MWIR devices with 256x256 pixels in a 40µm pitch are designed to provide > 800Hz full frame rate with pixel rates as high as 80Mpixels/s. In case of the dual-color device, the MWIR is split into a 3.4-4.2µm and 4.2-5.1µm section. The read out circuit is designed to integrate while read in a flash integration mode to allow nearly full frame integration for low NETD at high frame rate. A miniaturized command and control electronics with 14 Bit deep digital serial output provides state of the art interfaces.
The various pros and cons of spectral selective detection with either temporal coincidence of the different colors or in a sequential mode with smaller pitch, better fill factor and the ability to use the broad band image for visualization and specific image processing algorithms are discussed. In any case, the high frame rate of the 2 devices puts a new standard for seeker head or missile approach warning applications.
First tests on the wide-band device exhibit excellent thermal resolution with NETD<10mK @F/2, 1ms. Results on electrooptical performance are discussed.
Since quantum well (QWIP) technology has proven state of the art results based on a well established material system, AIM is heading for QWIP devices for most affordable solutions in the MWIR/LWIR dual-band applications. The draft specification and status of a QWIP dual-band detector presently under development is presented.