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Proceedings Paper

Thermo electrically cooled focal plane arrays based on MCT
Author(s): Neil T. Gordon
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Paper Abstract

One of the main advantages of increasing the operating temperature of infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) is to take advantage of lower cost cooling options such as thermoelectric coolers. However the maximum reduction in temperature available from the current generation of coolers (e.g. 4-stage) is around 110 K. For a maximum operating temperature of 70 oC, this means that the FPA needs to operate above 233 K. In this region, the performance becomes a strong function of array temperature and designing a system becomes a trade-off between the performance of the fpa; the speed of the optics; the maximum temperature of operation; and the cooler power and complexity. In this paper, previous results will be extrapolated to estimate the FPA performance across this trade space by varying cut-off wavelength. Possible techniques to enhance the performance of the FPAs by reducing low frequency noise or adding optical concentrators will also be considered. These extrapolated results indicate that in an f/2 system at 210 K, an NETD of around 30 mK could be achievable. Potential applications for the technology are in systems where long lifetime; no moving parts; or reduced weight are an advantage. Ideally the maximum ambient temperature should be limited to maintain the best thermal sensitivity. Suitable applications could include sensors which operate from UAVs or in space.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7660, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVI, 76602X (4 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.853492
Show Author Affiliations
Neil T. Gordon, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7660:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVI
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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