The Development of Thin Film Photodetectors for the 8-14 Micrometer Atmospheric Window,
ARMY NIGHT VISION LAB FORT BELVOIR VA
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Passive infrared imaging systems have become increasingly important for tactical warfare. The acceptance and growing capabilities of these imaging systems has caused increased demand for even higher-performance systems, with a decrease in the cost per detector. The Night Vision Laboratory is working to make a wider region to tradeoff between cost and performance available to the systems designer. A dramatic increase in performance can be achieved by increasing the number of detectors in the focal plane by at least an order of magnitude. However, the cost of these future, very-high-density imaging systems would be prohibitive if they were produced using present-day technology. The cost of the detectors plus their associated electronics can be reduced by developing a detector technology suitable for use with in-focal-plane CCD signal processing. In order to achieve minimum complexity and power dissipation, the signal from the detector must be directly injected into the CCDs. High-impedance detectors are required for direct-injection CCD interfacing. However, the high-performance 8-14 micrometer detectors used in current systems are low-impedance photoconductive devices, requiring buffer amplifiers. The only high-performance 8-14 micrometer detector with sufficiently high impedance at 77 K for direct signal injection into CCD signal processors is photovoltaic PbSnTe.
- Infrared Detection and Detectors