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Proceedings Paper

Progress in uncooled focal plane sensor technology at Boeing
Author(s): Philip E. Howard; John Elwood Clarke; Martin G. Bradley; Adrian C. Ionescu; Chuan C. Li
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Paper Abstract

This paper provides a review of the significant progress achieved in uncooled VO microbolometer LWIR focal plane and sensor technology at The Boeing Company during the last four years. When Boeing (formerly Rockwell) first introduced its first 320x240 uncooled FPAproduct in 1996, the U3000, it had a specified product NETD <0.1 K (F/i). Today, as a result of on-going improvements in VOx microbolometer design, processes and materials, the U3000 product is an established workhorse that is achieving an F/i NETD in the range of 0.033 to 0.040 K. The new U4000 320x240 product, that is being introduced by Boeing this year, has already demonstrated an F/i NETD <0.023 K at a 60 Hz frame rate, while having a thermal time constant <0.025 sec. In addition, significant progress has been made with innovative uncooled sensor operating concepts. Boeing has demonstrated its "TCOMP" response and offset compensation concept, which allows the uncooled IRFPA to operate without the need for temperature regulation. The elimination of the need for temperature regulation also means that uncooled LWIR imaging sensors can now have essentially instant-on operating capability, while requiring significantly less power. Spatial F/i NETD as low as 0.027 K, which is a measure of the level of spatial pattern noise in the displayed sensor image, has been demonstrated with a U4000/TCOMP sensor, and TCOMP has already been demonstrated over an at least 30 K calibration range.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 December 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4130, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVI, (15 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.409844
Show Author Affiliations
Philip E. Howard, Boeing Co. (United States)
John Elwood Clarke, Boeing Co. (United States)
Martin G. Bradley, Boeing Co. (United States)
Adrian C. Ionescu, Boeing Co. (United States)
Chuan C. Li, Boeing Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4130:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXVI
Bjorn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Marija Strojnik, Editor(s)

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