5 October 2006 Albion: cost-effective 3rd generation high-performance thermal imaging in the UK
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Abstract
The first generation of high performance thermal imaging sensors in the UK was based on two axis opto-mechanical scanning systems and small (4-16 element) arrays of the SPRITE detector, developed during the 1970s. Almost two decades later, a 2nd Generation system, STAIRS C was introduced, based on single axis scanning and a long linear array of approximately 3000 elements. This paper addresses the development of the UK's 3rd Generation High Performance Thermal Imaging sensor systems, under a programme known as "Albion". Three new high performance detectors, manufactured in cadmium mercury telluride, operating in both MWIR and LWIR, providing high resolution and sensitivities without need for opto-mechanical scanning systems will be described. The CMT material is grown by MOVPE on low cost substrates and bump bonded to the silicon read out circuit (ROIC). All three detectors are designed to fit with existing standard Integrated Detector Cooling Assemblies (IDCAs). The two largest detectors will be integrated with field demonstrator cameras providing MWIR and LWIR solutions that can rapidly be tailored to specific military requirements. The remaining detector will be a LWIR device with a smart ROIC, facilitating integration times much longer than can typically be achieved with focal plane arrays and consequently yield very high thermal sensitivity. This device will be demonstrated in a lab based camera system.
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R. K. McEwen, M. Lupton, M. Lawrence, P. Knowles, M. Wilson, P. N. J. Dennis, N. T. Gordon, D. J. Lees, J. F. Parsons, "Albion: cost-effective 3rd generation high-performance thermal imaging in the UK", Proc. SPIE 6395, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications III, 63950G (5 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.692338; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.692338
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