Infra-Red staring arrays using technologies suitable for low cost missile guidance systems have now been with us for almost a decade. The initial enthusiasm for these devices, which offered a substantial performance advantage over conventional scanned line arrays, was soon replaced by a more critical view of their applicability. A number of technical problems needed to be solved if these devices were to be used in some of the more demanding missile applications - problems in the charge handling capacity and read out mode on the focal plane and in the cost and complexity of the supporting drive electronics and signal conditioning. This period of concern has now been replaced by a renewed optimism as a new generation of focal plane architectures is becoming available and practical designs for the associated electronics are proven. As a result the system designer can now confidently propose systems which incorporate detectors with complex focal plane structures. In this paper we review the requirements of sensors for a variety of military applications and show how the new focal plane architectures can be used in these roles. Prototype hardware has been built to demonstrate the feasibility of such staring sensor systems.
G. John Tilsley,
"Focal Plane Architectures And Their Applicability To Advanced Imaging Seeker Systems", Proc. SPIE 0510, Infrared Technology X, (21 January 1985); doi: 10.1117/12.945015; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.945015