Major developments in IR uncooled detector technology
9 March 2005
Uncooled infrared detector technology is moving rapidly with the latest developments from the French company, ULIS. Uncooled detectors are widely used in low-cost security, fire fighting, military, predictive maintenance and thermography applications.
The uncooled detector has previously only been available for use in the 8 to 12 μ thermal imaging band and detector formats have typically been quarter TV with up to 384 x 288 pixels with 35 or 45 μm pixel pitch.
ULIS has released two unique products this year, the first being a quarter TV format detector that can operate from 2 to 16 μm, covering both the 3 to 5 (MWIR) and 8 to 12 (LWIR) micron atmospheric transmission bands. Both of these bands can be used for thermal imaging. Cooled military imaging systems based on the MWIR are manufactured by Denel Optronic Systems and are found to have a better performance than the traditional LWIR systems.
The second ULIS product is a full TV format (640 x 480 pixels) detector array for use in the LWIR spectral band. The pixel pitch in this case has been reduced to 25 μm to make the detector even more compact. Although such detectors have been manufactured in the USA, export was restricted through export licence requirements.
ULIS technology is based on a unique resistive amorphous silicon bolometer that enables a 100% compatibility with standard CMOS silicon processes, making it simple and best suited for low cost and high yield manufacturability. The ULIS range of focal plane arrays require no cryogenic cooler, chopper or scanner.
Examples of imagery obtained with quarter TV format ULIS detectors can be found in the article: 'Thermal imaging as part of a total security solution' in High Tech Security Solutions magazine at link http://securitysa.com/article.asp?pklArticleID=3213&pklIssueID=442&pklCategoryID=111.
More information is available from the local representative for ULIS, Measuring Instruments Technology (MIT). MIT also represents Sofradir, a leading European manufacturer of cryogenically-cooled IR detectors.
For more information contact MIT, +27 (0)12 348 0569, firstname.lastname@example.org
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