19 September 2013 Advanced imaging systems programs at DARPA MTO
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In this paper, we review a few selected imaging technology development programs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the reflective visible to the emissive/thermal long wave infrared (LWIR) spectral bands. For the reflective visible band, results are shown for two different imagers: a gigapixel monocentric multi-scale camera design that solves the scaling issues for a high pixel count, and a wide field of view and a single photon detection camera with a large dynamic range. Also, a camera with broadband capability covering both reflective and thermal bands (0.5 μm to 5.0 μm) with >80% quantum efficiency is discussed. In the emissive/thermal band, data is presented for both uncooled and cryogenically cooled LWIR detectors with pixel pitches approaching the fundamental detection limits. By developing wafer scale manufacturing processes and reducing the pixel size of uncooled thermal imagers, it is shown that an affordable camera on a chip, capable of seeing through obscurants in day or night, is feasible. Also, the fabrication and initial performance of the world’s first 5 μm pixel pitch LWIR camera is discussed. Lastly, we use an initial model to evaluate the signal to noise ratio and noise equivalent differential temperature as a function of well capacity to predict the performance for this thermal imager.
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Nibir K. Dhar, Nibir K. Dhar, Lee A. Elizondo, Lee A. Elizondo, Ravi Dat, Ravi Dat, Shelly L. Elizondo, Shelly L. Elizondo, "Advanced imaging systems programs at DARPA MTO", Proc. SPIE 8868, Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications III, 886802 (19 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2032203; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2032203


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