Advancements in space and ground-based astronomy focal plane array (FPA) technology at Rockwell Scientific
Company (RSC) are presented. The review covers the broad base of astronomy work at RSC for both present and
next generation FPAs, and details recent achievements in detector, readout, and packaging technologies. RSC
astronomy FPA progress includes: RSC FPA delivery for NASA's successful Deep Impact mission, progress on
RSC's programs supplying H-2RG FPAs for James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) instruments JWST NIRCam,
NIRSpec and FGS; selection of RSC's SIDECAR Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) for use on JWST
instruments NIRCam, NIRSpec and FGS and the development of the JWST SIDECAR space flight package; first
silicon on the 16 million pixel HAWAII-4RG (4Kx4K); optimization of NIR FPAs for space telescope missions;
construction of multiple 16 million pixel 2x2 mosaic FPAs using the HAWAII-2RG readouts, and the development
of the Microlensing Planet Finder (MPF) very large, 150 million pixel FPA.
Progress of selected FPA (Focal Plane Array) technology development at Rockwell Scientific Company is reviewed: very large format monolithic visible CMOS, hybrid silicon pin visible CMOS, ultra high frame rate (360ns interframe time) burst mode camera, substrate removed HgCdTe infrared detectors for continuous visible through infrared spectral sensitivity, astronomical focal plane arrays, mosaic (16 megapixel) infrared FPAs, JWST, and the SIDECAR ASIC readout interface chip.
Recent developments at Rockwell Scientific in the advancement of infrared and visible Focal Plane Array (FPA) technologies is presented. The technologies reviewed are hybrid silicon PIN visible, substrate-removed IR/VIS, MCT on silicon, 2-color, large format NIR FPAs, system-on-a-chip technology, and mosaic packaging. The basic aspects of each technology is described followed by a review of present performance achieved and the path for further development.
CMOS-based hybrid silicon focal plane array technology is presented as a high-performance CMOS sensor alternative to CCD technology for future space missions and ground-based telescopes. This paper will discuss the unique performance advantages of the hybrid CMOS arrays, including the very high quantum efficiency from UV to near IR, good spatial resolution at moderate voltage bias, readout commonality with IR detector channels in multi-spectral systems, low noise, low power dissipation, high inherent radiation tolerance, and excellent CMOS functionality afforded by the separately optimized readout circuitry. The ability to retain low noise at high video rates and the fact that CMOS sensors do not suffer the charge transfer efficiency (CTE) degradation of CCDs enable an easy scale-up of CMOS-based FPAs to larger formats without compromising sensor performance. The large hybrid CMOS silicon FPAs up to 2048x2048 format in single chip and 4096x4096 format in mosaic configuration that are demonstrated at Rockwell Scientific will be presented.