11 June 2013 Low-cost uncooled VOx infrared camera development
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Abstract
The DRS Tamarisk® 320 camera, introduced in 2011, is a low cost commercial camera based on the 17 µm pixel pitch 320×240 VOx microbolometer technology. A higher resolution 17 µm pixel pitch 640×480 Tamarisk®640 has also been developed and is now in production serving the commercial markets. Recently, under the DARPA sponsored Low Cost Thermal Imager-Manufacturing (LCTI-M) program and internal project, DRS is leading a team of industrial experts from FiveFocal, RTI International and MEMSCAP to develop a small form factor uncooled infrared camera for the military and commercial markets. The objective of the DARPA LCTI-M program is to develop a low SWaP camera (<3.5 cm3 in volume and <500 mW in power consumption) that costs less than US $500 based on a 10,000 units per month production rate. To meet this challenge, DRS is developing several innovative technologies including a small pixel pitch 640×512 VOx uncooled detector, an advanced digital ROIC and low power miniature camera electronics. In addition, DRS and its partners are developing innovative manufacturing processes to reduce production cycle time and costs including wafer scale optic and vacuum packaging manufacturing and a 3-dimensional integrated camera assembly. This paper provides an overview of the DRS Tamarisk® project and LCTI-M related uncooled technology development activities. Highlights of recent progress and challenges will also be discussed. It should be noted that BAE Systems and Raytheon Vision Systems are also participants of the DARPA LCTI-M program.
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Chuan Li, C. J. Han, George D. Skidmore, Grady Cook, Kenny Kubala, Robert Bates, Dorota Temple, John Lannon, Allan Hilton, Konstantin Glukh, Busbee Hardy, "Low-cost uncooled VOx infrared camera development", Proc. SPIE 8704, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIX, 87041L (11 June 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2019653; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2019653
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