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7 May 2009 Advancement in 17-micron pixel pitch uncooled focal plane arrays
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Abstract
This paper provides an update of 17 micron pixel pitch uncooled microbolometer development at DRS. Since the introduction of 17 micron pitch 640x480 focal plane arrays (FPAs) in 2006, significant progress has been made in sensor performance and manufacturing processes. The FPAs are now in initial production with an FPA noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD), detector thermal time constant, and pixel operability equivalent or better than that of the current 25 micron pixel pitch production FPAs. NETD improvement was achieved without compromising detector thermal response or thermal time constant by simultaneous reduction in bolometer heat capacity and thermal conductance. In addition, the DRS unique "umbrella" microbolometer cavities were optically tuned to optimize detector radiation absorption for specific spectral band applications. The 17 micron pixel pitch FPAs are currently being considered for the next generation soldier systems such as thermal weapon sights (TWS), vehicle driver vision enhancers (DVE), digitally fused enhanced night vision goggles (DENVG) and unmanned air vehicle (UAV) surveillance sensors, because of overall thermal imaging system size, weight and power advantages.
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Chuan Li, George Skidmore, Christopher Howard, Elwood Clarke, and C. J. Han "Advancement in 17-micron pixel pitch uncooled focal plane arrays", Proc. SPIE 7298, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXV, 72980S (7 May 2009); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.818189
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