FLIR Systems, which has long concentrated on its mature InSb FPA technology has been internally developing Type 2 Superlattice (T2SL) FPAs for use in future products.The company, which has been part of the VISTA consortium, is making use of the InAs/GaSb epitaxial structures that have been developed by JPL and NRL under the VISTA program and grown by IntelliEPI and IQE. It is expected that the company will soon introduce a camera core based on a HOT MWIR 640 x 512 FPA with 15 micron pixels.
Raytheon Vision Systems (Goleta, California) is in the fortunate position of having the largest portfolio of advanced infrared detectors in the world, including mercury cadmium telluride (MCT), InSb, InGaAs, uncooled VOx microbolometers and others. Recently, the company’s III-V T2SL (Type II Superlattice)/nBn detectors have also reached a level of maturity that enabled Raytheon to win the contract for the next-generation Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The company has been awarded a Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) award to develop dualband (MWIR/LWIR) T2SL FPAs for potential use in the 3rd Gen FLIR program. Currently, 3rdGen FLIR development is based on 1280 x 720 dualband MCT FPAs.
World infrared imaging markets are poised to enter a new phase. The development of new low-cost uncooled imaging detector cores and competitive pressures are leading to lower prices in a wide range of applications from thermographic inspections to law enforcement. At the same time, smartphone thermal imagers at prices under $200 are making the technology available to consumers who have not previously been exposed to infrared imaging.
Military infrared imaging systems are poised to take a leap forward as advanced new infrared detector technologies become available for the next generation of systems.
Call for Papers for Infrared Technologies & Applications conference