The U.S. Army’s effort to keep pushing the performance of uncooled sensor technology is again bearing fruit. All four contractors developing ultra-small pixel uncooled microbolometers have demonstrated 640 x 480 focal plane arrays with 17 µm pixels in thermal weapon sights.
Type II Superlattice (T2SL) FPAs have made great progress over the last three years. Some are even heralding these detectors as the successor to mercury cadmium telluride.
Isonics Corp., which is partnering with Lucent Technologies Bell Labs in the development of an uncooled focal plane array based on a capacitive MEMS (micro electro-mechanical systems) technology, has spun off the technology to a company called SensIT.
Sofradir is starting construction on a new Fab near Grenoble that will double its production capacity of cooled infrared focal plane arrays and position the company to supply 3rd Gen FPAs. The new facility will produce mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) FPAs by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) on 4” germanium substrates (compared to the currently used 2” CZT substrates).
The Image Fusion 2007 conference to be held between January 22 and 24 in Alexandria, Virginia is expected to cover a wide range of topics that are increasingly important for a wide number of applications.