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Proceedings Paper

Albion: the UK 3rd generation high-performance thermal imaging programme
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Paper Abstract

The first generation of high performance thermal imaging sensors in the UK was based on two axis opto-mechanical scanning systems and small (4-16 element) arrays of the SPRITE detector, developed during the 1970s. Almost two decades later, a 2nd Generation system, STAIRS C was introduced, based on single axis scanning and a long linear array of approximately 3000 elements. The UK has now begun the industrialisation of 3rd Generation High Performance Thermal Imaging under a programme known as "Albion". Three new high performance cadmium mercury telluride arrays are being manufactured. The CMT material is grown by MOVPE on low cost substrates and bump bonded to the silicon read out circuit (ROIC). To maintain low production costs, all three detectors are designed to fit with existing standard Integrated Detector Cooling Assemblies (IDCAs). The two largest focal planes are conventional devices operating in the MWIR and LWIR spectral bands. A smaller format LWIR device is also described which has a smart ROIC, enabling much longer stare times than are feasible with conventional pixel circuits, thus achieving very high sensitivity. A new reference surface technology for thermal imaging sensors is described, based on Negative Luminescence (NL), which offers several advantages over conventional peltier references, improving the quality of the Non-Uniformity Correction (NUC) algorithms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6542, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIII, 654214 (14 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.718612
Show Author Affiliations
R. K. McEwen, SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems Ltd. (United Kingdom)
M. Lupton, SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems Ltd. (United Kingdom)
M. Lawrence, SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems Ltd. (United Kingdom)
P. Knowles, SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems Ltd. (United Kingdom)
M. Wilson, SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems Ltd. (United Kingdom)
P. N. J. Dennis, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)
N. T. Gordon, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)
D. J. Lees, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)
J. F. Parsons, Thales Optronics Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6542:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIII
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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