In recent years quantum well infrared (IR) photodetector (QWIP) focal plane array (FPA) technology has developed to the point where it may be considered a candidate for insertion into 3rd generation FLIR systems. Large format 1024x1024 pixels FPAs have been produced using QWIP technology. We report on the application of a large format FPAs to the challenges facing today's military. These include the collection of signatures of military vehicles for long-range target detection/identification. The FPA used was a 1024x1024 pixel array which is available commercially. from QWIP Technologies, Inc. We show imagery of military targets at ranges from 500 m to 5 km acquired in the field. The results of the performance in the field are compared to that predicted by computer models and the performance of the large format QWIP FPA will be evaluated in terms of the capabilities of a notional 3rd generation FLIR system.
Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPs) based infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) are commercially available in the single color. QWIP Technologies, Inc. provides a number of QWIPCHIPTM FPAs available in the single-color, dual-color and even multiple-color, as well as varieties of physical formats in the infrared range. In this paper, we discuss the research and development efforts currently ongoing at QWIP Technologies on dual-color, visible-NIR/LWIR FPAs, and the development of a four-color QWIP-based FPA. These multicolor systems are being developed to meet the needs of a number of military applications including land mine detection. Land mines inhibit the safe movement of troops and produce chaos in countries struggling for socio-economic stability long after the cessation of hostilities. This paper will describe the efforts to develop a near multi-color QWIP sensor for mine detection. The core of the discussion will include highlights of a two-color LWIR QWIP sensor system designed to provide uniform, high spatial resolution, multi-color co-registered imagery and possess negligible spectral cross-talk. Through these efforts, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is completing the development of a visible/infrared mine detection system, which when deployed on an airborne platform, would increase the war fighting effectiveness has sponsored the current developments.
Land mines, and other buried explosive devices, are widely deployed all over the world. As such, they pose a significant threat to dismounted soldiers, vehicles, and civilians. Land mines inhibit the safe movement of troops and produce chaos in countries struggling for socio-economic stability long after the cessation of hostilities. Consequently, there has been much investigation into how buried explosives might be detected and safely neutralized. Many different electro-optical and radar sensor systems have been considered for the detection of buried land mines. These include ground penetrating radars, polarization detectors, and visible/thermal infrared (IR) imagers. This paper will describe the efforts to develop a near IR/LWIR mine detection system. The core of the discussion will include highlights of a two-color LWIR QWIP sensor system designed to provide uniform, high spatial resolution, multi-color co-registered imagery and possess negligible spectral cross-talk. The current developments have been sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for developing a visible/infrared mine detection system, which when deployed on a TUAV would increase the war fighting effectiveness of any rapid deployment force by facilitating ground penetration into hostile territory.
Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPs) based infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) have been widely researched and investigated in the 3-5 μm and 6-20 μm wavelength ranges. The demonstrations of QWIP FPAs include single-color, dual-color and even multiple-color, as well as varieties of physical formats in the infrared range. In this paper, we discuss the research and development efforts currently undergoing at QWIP Technologies on dual-color, visible-NIR/LWIR FPAs, as an interim step for a project sponsored by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) to develop a four-color QWIP-based FPA. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported result on visible/LWIR QWIP imager, as well as the first reported GaAs PIN diode-based FPA. This device consists of a GaAs/AlGaAs based PIN diode grown on a GaAs substrate, and subsequently a stack of multiple quantum wells (MQWs), epitaxially grown on top of the PIN structure. This VISA (visible/infrared sensor array) structure is sensitive in the 500nm-890nm as well as in the 8um-12 um wavelength ranges. Very high sensitivities are observed from both visible PIN diode and LWIR QWIP; both visible and LWIR images obtained from this device are presented in this paper.
Advanced thermal imaging infrared cameras have been a cost effective and reliable method to obtain the temperature of objects. Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) based thermal imaging systems have advanced the state-of-the-art and are the most sensitive commercially available thermal systems. QWIP Technologies LLC, under exclusive agreement with Caltech University, is currently manufacturing the QWIP-ChipTM, a 320 X 256 element, bound-to-quasibound QWIP FPA. The camera performance falls within the long-wave IR band, spectrally peaked at 8.5 μm. The camera is equipped with a 32-bit floating-point digital signal processor combined with multi- tasking software, delivering a digital acquisition resolution of 12-bits using nominal power consumption of less than 50 Watts. With a variety of video interface options, remote control capability via an RS-232 connection, and an integrated control driver circuit to support motorized zoom and focus- compatible lenses, this camera design has excellent application in both the military and commercial sector. In the area of remote sensing, high-performance QWIP systems can be used for high-resolution, target recognition as part of a new system of airborne platforms (including UAVs). Such systems also have direct application in law enforcement, surveillance, industrial monitoring and road hazard detection systems. This presentation will cover the current performance of the commercial QWIP cameras, conceptual platform systems and advanced image processing for use in both military remote sensing and civilian applications currently being developed in road hazard monitoring.
Anthropometric surveys conducted by the military provide comprehensive human body measurement data that are human interface requirements for successful mission performance of weapon systems, including cockpits, protective equipment, and clothing. The application of human body dimensions to model humans and human-machine performance begins with engineering anthropometry. There are two critical elements to engineering anthropometry: data acquisition and data analysis. First, the human body is captured dimensionally with either traditional anthropometric tools, such as calipers and tape measures, or with advanced image acquisition systems, such as a laser scanner. Next, numerous statistical analysis tools, such as multivariate modeling and feature envelopes, are used to effectively transition these data for design and evaluation of equipment and work environments. Recently, Air Force technology transfer allowed researchers at the Computerized Anthropometric Research and Design (CARD) Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to work with the Dayton, Ohio area medical community in assessing the rate of wound healing and improving the fit of total contract burn masks. This paper describes the successful application of CARD Lab engineering anthropometry to two medically oriented human interface problems.
The care and efficacy of treatment for chronic wounds is typically determined by observing and measuring the wound's response to a given treatment protocol. The traditional measures of wound morphology typically include photographs taken over time, alginates for determining wound volume, and rulers or concentric circles to estimate a wound's diameter. Although the traditional wound morphology measures are generally non-invasive, they are subjective and non-repeatable. Information on tissue response is generally limited to gross metabolic measurements acquired through standard diagnostic testing, bacteriological information from biopsied material and transcutaneous oximetry taken at the periphery of the wound. Information related to tissue response is generally acquired using invasive techniques. This paper describes a non-invasive method for assessing wound morphology and response being used to assess and study chronic wounds at the USAF Medical Center at Wright-Patterson AFB. This new technique exploits the properties of laser surface scanning and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to acquire its measurements. The method used employs a CyberwareTM laser surface scanner to capture both range and color information from the patient's wound surface. The color and range data are then registered to 1 mm accuracy for visualization of the patient's surface. The Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) data are then captured for the same wound using a surface localization and spectra collection protocol. The MRS data includes phosphorous MRS as an indicator of cellular energy balance. Spatial registration is used to combine the Cyberware and MRS datasets. The resulting data are then presented as a 3D volume with additional parameters, such as surface area, volume, and perimeter, portrayed for the total wound and specific tissue types. Results to date for our approach include the development of an automatic feature extraction algorithm that recognizes and extracts a wound edge from the laser surface scanner data. Additional tissue type characteristics, such as granulation, epithelialization, etc., are also identified by the feature extraction algorithm. The overall goal of this research is to provide a non-invasive, reliable method for wound quantification. Numerous patients with chronic wounds (i.e., diabetic ulcers, radiation wounds, etc.) require methods such as this for determining efficacy of wound treatments. These treatments often range from growth factors therapy to hyperbaric treatment for wound care. The results of this research will provide a technique for measuring some of the underlying biochemical mechanisms of wound healing in humans.