We report on the fabrication and characterization of microcantilever based uncooled focal plane array (FPA) for infrared imaging. By combining a streamlined design of microcantilever thermal transducers with a highly efficient optical readout, we minimized the fabrication complexity while achieving a competitive level of imaging performance. The microcantilever FPAs were fabricated using a straightforward fabrication process that involved only three photolithographic steps (i.e. three masks). A designed and constructed prototype of an IR imager employed a simple optical readout based on a noncoherent low-power light source. The main figures of merit of the IR imager were found to be comparable to those of uncooled MEMS infrared detectors with substantially higher degree of fabrication complexity. In particular, the <i>NETD </i>and the response time of the implemented MEMS IR detector were measured to be
as low as 0.5K and 6 ms, respectively. The potential of the implemented designs can also be concluded from the fact that the constructed prototype enabled IR imaging of close to room temperature objects without the use of any advanced data processing. The most unique and practically valuable feature of the implemented FPAs, however, is their scalability to high resolution formats, such as 2000x2000, without progressively growing device complexity and cost.
The tractor aviator night vision image system (ANVIS) eyepiece heads-up display (E-HUD) is an electro-optical system that superimposes flight and navigation symbology onto the scene viewed by the user of Night Vision Goggles. The ANVIS E-HUD provides the aircrew with critical flight information, during night missions, with an added degree of safety.