15 May 2006 Can IR scene projectors reduce total system cost?
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There is an incredible amount of system engineering involved in turning the typical infrared system needs of probability of detection, probability of identification, and probability of false alarm into focal plane array (FPA) requirements of noise equivalent irradiance (NEI), modulation transfer function (MTF), fixed pattern noise (FPN), and defective pixels. Unfortunately, there are no analytic solutions to this problem so many approximations and plenty of "seat of the pants" engineering is employed. This leads to conservative specifications, which needlessly drive up system costs by increasing system engineering costs, reducing FPA yields, increasing test costs, increasing rework and the never ending renegotiation of requirements in an effort to rein in costs. These issues do not include the added complexity to the FPA factory manager of trying to meet varied, and changing, requirements for similar products because different customers have made different approximations and flown down different specifications. Scene generation technology may well be mature and cost effective enough to generate considerable overall savings for FPA based systems. We will compare the costs and capabilities of various existing scene generation systems and estimate the potential savings if implemented at several locations in the IR system fabrication cycle. The costs of implementing this new testing methodology will be compared to the probable savings in systems engineering, test, rework, yield improvement and others. The diverse requirements and techniques required for testing missile warning systems, missile seekers, and FLIRs will be defined. Last, we will discuss both the hardware and software requirements necessary to meet the new test paradigm and discuss additional cost improvements related to the incorporation of these technologies.
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Robert Ginn, Robert Ginn, Steven Solomon, Steven Solomon, } "Can IR scene projectors reduce total system cost?", Proc. SPIE 6207, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVII, 62070I (15 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665163; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.665163

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