Image intensifiers (I2) have many advantages as detectors. They offer single photon sensitivity in an imaging format,
they're light in weight and analog I2 systems can operate for hours on a single AA battery. Their light output is such as
to exploit the peak in color sensitivity of the human eye. Until recent developments in CMOS sensors, they also were
one of the highest resolution sensors available. The closest all solid state solution, the Texas Instruments Impactron chip,
comes in a 1 megapixel format. Depending on the level of integration, an Impactron based system can consume 20 to 40
watts in a system configuration.
In further investing in I2 technology, L-3 EOS determined that increasing I2 resolution merited a high priority. Increased
I2 resolution offers the system user two desirable options: 1) increased detection and identification ranges while
maintaining field-of-view (FOV) or 2) increasing FOV while maintaining the original system resolution.
One of the areas where an investment in resolution is being made is in the microchannel plate (MCP). Incorporation of a
2 micron MCP into an image tube has the potential of increasing the system resolution of currently fielded systems. Both
inverting and non-inverting configurations are being evaluated. Inverting tubes are being characterized in night vision
goggle (NVG) and sights. The non-inverting 2 micron tube is being characterized for high resolution I2CMOS camera
applications. Preliminary measurements show an increase in the MTF over a standard 5 micron pore size, 6 micron pitch
plate. Current results will be presented.