Sustained and enhanced land imaging is crucial for providing high-quality science data on change in land use, forest health, environment, and climate. Future thermal land imaging instruments operating in the 10-12 micron band will provide essential information for furthering our hydrologic understanding at scales of human influence, and producing field-scale moisture information through accurate retrievals of evapotranspiration (ET). To address the need for cost-effective future thermal land imaging missions we are developing novel uncooled doped-silicon thermopile detectors, an extension of a detector design concept originally developed at NASA-Goddard for planetary science applications. These doped-Si thermopile detectors have the potential to offer superior performance in terms of sensitivity, speed, and customization, when compared to current commercial-off-the-shelf uncooled detector technologies. Because cryocooler technology does not need to be fielded on the instrument, these and other uncooled detectors offer the benefit of greatly reduced instrument cost, mass, and power at the expense of some acceptable loss in detector sensitivity. We present the motivation for an uncooled thermal imaging instrument, our doped-Si thermopile detector concept, and performance expectations and comparisons. We also provide an update on the current status of this detector technology development.