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High-performance focal plane array modules for research and development

Hochwertige Matrixdetektormodule für Forschung und Entwicklung
: Breiter, R.; Cabanski, W.; Ziegler, J.; Walther, M.; Schneider, H.

Dinwiddie, R.B. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Thermosense XXII : 25 - 27 April, 2000, Orlando, Florida
Bellingham/Wash.: SPIE, 2000 (SPIE Proceedings Series 4020)
ISBN: 0-8194-3646-1
Thermosense Conference <12, 2000, Orlando/Fla.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAF ()
focal plane array; Bildfeldmosaik; QWIP; MCT; HgCdTe; NETD

AIM has developed a family of two-dimensional IR detection modules providing high-speed with frame rates >1kHz together with state of the art thermal resolution with an NETD as low as NETD < 7mK based on either mercury cadmium telluride (MCT), platinum silicide (PtSi), or quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) technology to fit for various applications and budgets in research and development. One of the most recent devices is a low noise QWIP detection module with 256x256 pixels. The device operates in either rolling frame or flash integration mode and provides a thermal resolution as low as NETD <10mK for 20ms integration time. The device allows a maximum frame rate of 200Hz. Any synchronous or periodic noise source due to electronics or cooler regulation could be reduced far below the white noise basically due to the photon noise contribution. In this limit, external accumulation of subsequent frames allows to achieve NETD values as low as 4mK and allows the user to always operate the module at highest frame rate, to select either temporal bandwidth or thermal resolution by external sliding averages on digital data. AIM's modular concept, where different detection modules can be combined with different image processing tools, gives the user common interfaces and exchangeability for all MCT, QWIP and PtSi devices. This modular concept opens the possibility for affordable user defined systems, like special cold filters, optics etc., consisting of off-the-shelf components. The 14 bit digital interface provides state of the art correctability and access to highly dynamic scenes without any loss of information due to limited digital resolution. The real-time interface to digital frame grabbers gives the opportunity for recording long image sequences in the full dynamic range. These features created many new applications in research and development which shortly will be presented in this paper. The main features of the modules are summarized together with measured performance data which proof the thermal resolution, stability and speed of the systems. Pro's and con's of the different technologies applied are discussed together with some examples of medical and industrial applications.