12 July 1999 Third-generation imaging sensor system concepts
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Abstract
Second generation forward looking infrared sensors, based on either parallel scanning, long wave (8 - 12 um) time delay and integration HgCdTe detectors or mid wave (3 - 5 um), medium format staring (640 X 480 pixels) InSb detectors, are being fielded. The science and technology community is now turning its attention toward the definition of a future third generation of FLIR sensors, based on emerging research and development efforts. Modeled third generation sensor performance demonstrates a significant improvement in performance over second generation, resulting in enhanced lethality and survivability on the future battlefield. In this paper we present the current thinking on what third generation sensors systems will be and the resulting requirements for third generation focal plane array detectors. Three classes of sensors have been identified. The high performance sensor will contain a megapixel or larger array with at least two colors. Higher operating temperatures will also be the goal here so that power and weight can be reduced. A high performance uncooled sensor is also envisioned that will perform somewhere between first and second generation cooled detectors, but at significantly lower cost, weight, and power. The final third generation sensor is a very low cost micro sensor. This sensor can open up a whole new IR market because of its small size, weight, and cost. Future unattended throwaway sensors, micro UAVs, and helmet mounted IR cameras will be the result of this new class.
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Donald A. Reago, Stuart B. Horn, James Campbell, Richard H. Vollmerhausen, "Third-generation imaging sensor system concepts", Proc. SPIE 3701, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing X, (12 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.352991; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.352991
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