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DARPA Awards Sensors Unlimited $4.5M to Develop Focal Plane Array

Photonics.com
Sep 2005
PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 28 -- Sensors Unlimited Inc., a manufacturer of advanced infrared cameras based on indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technology, has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office to develop a 1280 x 1024 pixel, dual-wavelength, visible and shortwave infrared focal plane array (FPA), to be used by the Department of Defense. The contract will be awarded in three, 12-month phases, and if fully executed, will total $4,576,176.

According to the company, the uncooled, InGaAs focal plane array will enable very high-resolution, passive night vision imaging with sensitivity to wavelengths from 0.4 to 1.7 µm, using pixels on a 15-µm pitch. The new FPA will have less than 10 electrons readout noise while operating at video rates. In addition, new developments in detector growth, design and fabrication will enable dark current densities of less than 2 nA/cm2 from the InGaAs photodiode array at room temperature, allowing the read noise to be the limiting noise factor for video rate imaging. Sensors Unlimited says the FPA, combined with its low-noise and dual-wavelength detector design, will enable the company to reach DARPA's goal of identifying a human target at 100 m under no-moon conditions.

For more information, visit: www.sensorsinc.com




GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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