A hybrid photodetector based on a Gen 3 photocathode and electron-bombarded silicon, non-pixilated, position sensitive, Avalanche Photo Diode (APD) is being developed. The device promises gains of over 106 and sub-millimeter spatial resolution. Signals read at the output of the device can be used to build up images, integrated over the time scales relevant to the process being studied. This integration as a post-process allows significant flexibility in investigation at very low light levels. A design and fabrication process is being developed that can be readily adapted for fast-turnaround proof-of-concept prototypes using a variety of solid state detectors. This process approach also facilitates the parallel development of high Quantum Efficiency (QE), low dark count III-V based photocathodes with a broad range of spectral response from UV to NIR. The Imaging Hybrid Avalanche Photo Diode (IHAPD) is targeted to bioluminescence, chemoluminescence and other low light level spectral imaging. A discussion of a reflection mode hybrid APD development is included as well.
Night vision system design has been centered aroudn the An/AVS-6 and AN/PVS-7 night vision goggle systems for the past 20 years. Goggle performance has improved during this time through increased performance of the image intensifier sensor, primarily the Omni IV sensor from ITT Industries Night Vision. Most of this improvement has been at the optimal light level (1E-3 fc scene illumination). Recent advances in image sensor performance from the filmless Generation (Gen) IV sensors has increased the low light level performance of night vision devices from 0.3 cy/mr to 0.7 cy/mr. In addition, sensor packaging design requirements have forced night vision sensor manufactures to design light weight, small volume sensors. ITT recently has designed such a sensor in a 16-mm format. This sensor if 50% lighter, up to 50% shorter, and has design features that simplify the objective lens design. New night vision goggles have been, and are being, designed which reduce the perceived head-supported weight. This paper presents signal-to-noise ratio, halo, and other film-less sensor data and similar 16-mm subminiature sensor data. The resulting system performance data will be described. Finally, the system design improvements and relationships with the subminiature 16-mm subminiature sensor will be given.