With an emphasis on highest reliability, infrared (IR) imagers have traditionally used simplest-possible shutters and
field-proven technology. Most commonly, single-step rotary or linear magnetic actuators have been used with good
success. However, several newer shutter drive technologies offer benefits in size and power reduction, enabling man-portable
imagers that are more compact, lighter, and more durable.
This paper will discuss improvements in shutter and shutter drive technology, which enable smaller and more power-efficient
imagers. Topics will transition from single-step magnetic actuators to multi-stepping magnetic drives, latching
vs. balanced systems for blade position shock-resistance, motor and geared motor drives, and associated stepper driver
electronics. It will highlight performance tradeoffs pertinent to man-portable military systems.