26 July 1999 LWIR focal plane with digital readout demonstrating a passive free-space optical readout link
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Abstract
Future high performance IR imaging system require high density focal planes containing up to one million or more detectors. Technological advances are needed to handle the resulting readout data rates in excess of Gbauds/sec and to minimize the on-focal-plane heat load caused by the currently used drivers and signal carrying cables connecting the focal plane inside the vacuum dewar with the outside signal processor. Optical interconnects are a practical alternative only for digital data because of the high non- linearity of the electrical to optical conversion process. We propose to solve these problems by A/D converting the detector signals on the focal pane (FPA) and using on-focal- plane quantum well light modulators to transform the electrical to optical signals. The latter are transmitted by a light beam from the FPA to the signal processor or the display electronics. The enabling technologies are the recently demonstrated on-focal-plane MOSAD converter achieving 14 bit dynamic range and the quantum well light modulators being develop by Lucent Technologies for highspeed bistable optical switches called SEED's for use in telecommunication. We will demonstrate one optical readout channel servicing 4 columns of a LWIR detector array mounted in an experimental dewar.
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William J. Mandl, William J. Mandl, Reinhard D. Ennulat, Reinhard D. Ennulat, Conrad W. Terrill, Conrad W. Terrill, Keith W. Goossen, Keith W. Goossen, } "LWIR focal plane with digital readout demonstrating a passive free-space optical readout link", Proc. SPIE 3698, Infrared Technology and Applications XXV, (26 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354574; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.354574
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