10 October 2003 Large-format and multispectral QWIP infrared focal plane arrays
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The next generation of infrared (IR) focal plane arrays (FPAs) will need to be a significant improvement in capability over those used in present-day second generation FLIRs. The Army's Future Combat System requires that the range for target identification be greater than the range of detection for an opposing sensor. To accomplish this mission, the number of pixels on the target must be considerably larger than that possible with 2nd generation FLIR. Therefore, the 3rd generation FLIR will need to be a large format staring FPA with more than 1000 pixels on each side. In addition, a multi-spectral capability will be required to allow operability in challenging ambient environments, discriminate targets from decoys, and to take advantage of the smaller diffraction blur in the MWIR for enhanced image resolution. We report on laboratory measurements of a large format (1024 x 1024 pixels) single-color LWIR IR FPA made using the corrugated quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) structure by the ARL/NASA team. The pixel pitch is 18 μm and the spectral response peaks at 8.8 μm with a 9.2 μm cutoff. We report on recent results using a MWIR/LWIR QWIP FPA to image the boost phase of a launch vehicle for missile defense applications and a LWIR/LWIR FPA designed specifically for detecting the disturbed soil associated with buried land mines. Finally, we report on the fabrication of a new read-out integrated circuit (ROIC) specifically designed for multi-spectral operation.
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Arnold C. Goldberg, Kwong-Kit Choi, Murzy Jhabvala, Anh La, Parvez N. Uppal, Michael L. Winn, "Large-format and multispectral QWIP infrared focal plane arrays", Proc. SPIE 5074, Infrared Technology and Applications XXIX, (10 October 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.501272; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.501272

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