In this paper we are presenting the ELOP concept of the night vision for the modern soldier. According to this
concept the modern soldier's missions are divided into 4 main layers - situation awareness, improved lethality
capabilities, target acquisition and surveillance. Based on this concept during the last few years ELOP has
developed a family of products for those needs. Those new products are mainly based on the uncooled technology
(with one exception). The uncooled technology allows cost eective solution with superior performance in
comparison with image intensiers systems (by means of better robustness to poor lighting conditions, better
immunity to dazzling etc.). Those products include thermal monocular, driver thermal sight, thermal weapon
sights and hand held thermal cameras.
A novel integrated two terminal structure of Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) with bias controlled dual-band detection at the long wavelength infrared (LWIR) and near infrared (NIR) atmospheric windows is demonstrated. The LWIR sensor is based on a GaAs/AlGaAs standard QWIP, while the NIR sensor is based on a strained InGaAs/GaAs quantum wells structure. The InGaAs/GaAs quantum wells are embedded in a heterostructure bipolar transistor (HBT) structure, which enables high gain and rapid switching capabilities between the two spectral bands. The GaAs/AlGaAs and InGaAs/GaAs monolithic structure allows fabrication of large focal plane array (FPA) that can be operated using a standard two-terminal readout circuit (ROIC). Such FPA configuration allows simultaneous imaging of a NIR laser spot superimposed on a thermal imaging scene.
A candidate for IR detectors for third generation thermal imageing systems is the QWIP. ELOP has gone through five years of development and evaluation of QWIP focal plane arrays and QWIP based thermal imaging system as a technology demonstrator. The R/D results are 320×256 QWIP based thermal imaging system operating in the 8-10μm band and a QWIP focal lpane array that operates simultaneously at the LWIR and NIR. A few aspects of commercializaiton of the QWIP are described focusing on the dark current issue. The QWIP as a multispectral sensor is referred to, especially the sensitivity of the QWIP by means of NETD in comparison with other optional multispectral detectors.
A 2 stack two color Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) for simultaneously detection of Long Wavelength InfraRed (LWIR) and Near InfraRed (NIR) radiation is demonstrated. The LWIR sensor is based on a regular GaAs/AlGaAs QWIP, while the NIR sensor is based on a strained InGaAs/GaAs multi quantum wells structure. Optical and electrical measurements of the NIR detector and the inclusive device are presented and discussed. Aspects of the monolithic thermal imaging and see spot system are considered. System performance prediction is calculated based on the FLIR92 method, using MATLAB<SUP>R</SUP> as a platform to the numerical calculations. The system calculations are based on a conversion method of the laser radiation at the target to a thermal like radiation, enabling calculation of the whole system parameters. This method allows one to predict the maximum range of the observing system from the target that still allows detection of the laser spot over the thermal picture.