High-resolution IR scanning systems able to scan large areas quickly require linear detector arrays with more than 1000 elements and high sensitivity, achieved by TDI. ELOP initiated the development of such a long detector array in the 3-5μm spectral region. The architecture of the detector is based on several sub-segments butted together in a staggered configuration to achieve the desired detector length. One problem is the large non-uniformity of the detector, which is exacerbated by the cos4α optical effect. With the entrance pupil imaged on the cold shield aperture to enhance efficiency, the angle a becomes large. This imposes significant additional non-uniformity that has to be compensated and affects the dynamic range of the electronics. A way to overcome this problem is suggested, based on de-selecting specific pixels in any TDI channel.
Another problem is that while higher TDI levels increase the SNR, they increase the smear (blur) due to vibrations, drift etc. The optimal TDI level depends on the specific conditions of the system, namely: signal level and vibrations. Using superfluous pixels in the overlap between segments, several TDI levels can be operated simultaneously, allowing a decision to be made automatically as to the optimal TDI level for operation.