7 September 2006 Automatic in-unit cell offset subtraction for MWIR and LWIR HgCdTe detectors
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Abstract
Imaging instruments with state-of-the-art HgCdTe MWIR and LWIR detectors often have limited cooling resources. Therefore, they may need to deal with large detector dark currents and/or optics thermal emission currents. The sum of dark and thermal emission currents form an undesirable "offset" to the desired signal current, which can be orders of magnitude greater than the signal. With modest instrument thermal stability, the offset current change is small over instrument line imaging times on the order of 10 seconds. This allows cancellation or subtraction of the offset by injecting an equal and opposite current into the integration node. The exact value of this cancellation current can be simultaneously measured and stored for every pixel in a self calibrating deep space (negligible signal) scan cycle, leaving only the desired signal current when the aperture is subsequently scanned across the scene. Offset subtraction dramatically reduces the dynamic range requirements of the Readout Integrated Circuit (ROIC) signal chain at the cost of additional ROIC shot noise. However, this shot noise is rarely dominant in MWIR and LWIR applications so overall NEDT performance does not suffer. By subtracting the offset and dramatically reducing ROIC dynamic range requirements, the integration capacitor and overall ROIC size are greatly reduced, power dissipation is decreased, and linearity is greatly improved. The end result is similar NEDT performance at higher detector and instrument temperatures. An ROIC with automatic, low-noise, in unit cell offset subtraction has been developed and demonstrated with LWIR (15 micron cutoff) HgCdTe detectors operating at 67K. The offset, which is 20X the desired signal, is subtracted in less than 10 ms with better than 99% accuracy. The subtraction current drift is less than 0.0015%/s.
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Richard Tarde, Richard Tarde, Stefan Lauxtermann, Stefan Lauxtermann, Robert Bailey, Robert Bailey, } "Automatic in-unit cell offset subtraction for MWIR and LWIR HgCdTe detectors", Proc. SPIE 6295, Infrared Detectors and Focal Plane Arrays VIII, 629506 (7 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681920; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.681920
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