13 August 1997 European uncooled thermal imaging technology
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There is widespread requirement for low cost lightweight thermal imaging sensors for both military and civilian applications. In Europe, these requirements are now being met by systems using large uncooled ferroelectric detector arrays offering performance levels which, until recently, could only be achieved by expensive cryogenically cooled systems. The uncooled technology is the result of collaboration between the UK Defence Research Agency (DRA) and GEC-Marconi Electro Optics (GMEO) under a 'dual use technology program' (DUTP). This has resulted in the design of an uncooled module suite which constitute the core elements of the European uncooled thermal imaging sensors. This module suite has been adopted by UK MoD to meet the requirements of the UK Stairs A demonstrator program producing a lightweight thermal surveillance and weapon sight. A European consortium including Delft Instruments and Signaal Usfa (DISU) in Holland have also adopted the modules to meet the requirements of the lightweight infrared observation nightsight (LION). This product is being marketed in collaboration with Thomson CSF Optronics, of France. This paper discusses the current status of the underlying detector and processing technology including enhancements already in development. In addition, the designs and benefits offered by the Stairs A and LION products are addressed.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kennedy Robert McEwen "European uncooled thermal imaging technology", Proc. SPIE 3061, Infrared Technology and Applications XXIII, (13 August 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.280337; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.280337


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