DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office has awarded four 3-year contracts for the development of near room temperature (or “HOT - High Operating Temperature”) mid-wave infrared focal plane arrays. The FPAs are intended for future use in ground-based threat warning systems.
Researchers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory have achieved a significant breakthrough by fabricating the first large format QDIP Quantum Dot Infrared Photodetector) FPA. The 640 x 512 FPA formed excellent images and had an NETD of 40 mK at an operating temperature of 60 K.
Nippon Avionics is acquiring NEC San-ei Instruments. After the completion of the transaction on June 30, 2006, NEC San-ei will be a 100% subsidiary of Nippon Avionics.
Ann Arbor Sensor Systems has used an old technology to make very low cost uncooled cameras (less than $5K). The company’s AXT100 Thermal Imaging Camera makes use of 32 x 31 thermopile arrays that the company designed and are manufactured for it by MEMSTech.
The German program for the Infantryman of the Future (IdZ - Infanteristen der Zukunft) is being upgraded with additional capabilities. Currently, the IdZ thermal weapon sight is based on an AIM HuntIR sight that makes use of a 384 x 288 MWIR mercury cadmium telluride FPA.
The use of infrared cameras by firefighters has been growing at double digit rates. In fact, the rate at which new technologies are being incorporated into these cameras may affect firefighter safety.
Mitsubishi Electric has developed a chip-scale vacuum package for its 160 x 120 (25 µm pixels) uncooled SOI FPAs.
SCD Semi Conductor Devices has improved its “BIRD” 384 x 288 VOx (25 µm pitch) microbolometers.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Strategic Border Initiative program (SBInet) is shaping up to be a boon for infrared technology. SBInet has two major themes: controlling the border and immigration enforcement.
Nippon Avionics has developed an integral helmet-mounted uncooled infrared imager for firefighters.