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Proceedings Paper

Thermoelectrically-Cooled Infrared Imagers
Author(s): Wayne Grant
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Paper Abstract

The attractions of using thermoelectric (TE) coolers in IR imagers, as compared to cooling with either a Joule-Thomson cryostat or mechanical tyre refrigerator, are their relative light weight, low life cycle costs, and excellent reliability. The vitality of TE technology derives from a coincident maturation in three "sub-technologies": TF coolers, Intermediate-Temperature-Operation (ITO) detectors, and integrated focal plane electronics. TE coolers are available which provide 3n-50 milliwatts cooling nower at 195 V using less than 3 watts of input power. Small-geometry detectors sensitive to 3-5 micron radiation are thermal noise limited when operated above 170 K but still exhibit respectable detectivities of near 1. 0x1011cm-Hz 1/2 /W at 193 K. Large detector arrays with integrated focal plane signal processing are now being developed which will improve system sensitivity beyond that of our first-generation devices. This paper briefly reviews the status of TE coolers, ITO detectors, and focal plane electronics, and presents the problems and trends in TE technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 1978
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0132, Utilization of Infrared Detectors, (6 June 1978); doi: 10.1117/12.956065
Show Author Affiliations
Wayne Grant, Night Vision and Electro-Optics Laboratories (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0132:
Utilization of Infrared Detectors
Irving J. Spiro, Editor(s)

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