31 May 2005 Beyond 3rd generation MCT: SXGA QWIP (Invited Paper)
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Successful past experience of implementing long wave MCT 1st and 2nd Generation thermal imagers has demonstrated to THALES Optronics that MCT presents difficult challenges when correcting non-uniformity errors caused by rapidly changing detector element gain and offset drifts. These problems become even more demanding when the move is made from long linear arrays to focal plane arrays due to the significantly larger number of detector elements. Relaxation of these demands would make a significant impact on the price/performance trade which inevitably occurs in a camera development. In recognition of the need to offer UK MOD best value, THALES Optronics has initiated a programme to achieve a SXGA resolution camera and is working with UK MOD, over a two year period, to investigate whether an alternative technology can maintain the high resolution required whilst achieving a downward step change in price. The selected technology is 3rd Generation Gallium Arsenide long wave Quantum Well Infra-red Photodiode (QWIP) chosen because initial indications are that drift rates are orders of magnitude slower than MCT. The programme involves studies to determine effects of defect clusters, bimodalism, non-uniformity correction levels and higher than normal operating temperatures on achieving acceptable performance, including logistics, in user scenarios whilst maximising detector yield. Development of demonstrator IR camera hardware (technology readiness level 6/7) based on a THALES Research & Technology QWIP array is also part of the programme.
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Stewart Crawford, Stewart Crawford, Tracey Skivington, Tracey Skivington, Robert Craig, Robert Craig, Andrew Haining, Andrew Haining, Eric Costard, Eric Costard, Eric Belhaire, Eric Belhaire, Philippe Bois, Philippe Bois, "Beyond 3rd generation MCT: SXGA QWIP (Invited Paper)", Proc. SPIE 5783, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXI, (31 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.606693; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.606693


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