PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 9 -- Sensors Unlimited Inc., a provider of short-wave infrared imaging products based on indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technology, has received a follow-on Phase 1b contract from the US Air Force to develop the industry's first high-frame-rate camera for combined imaging and ranging, using an in-pixel digitized, monolithic PIN/APD focal plane array.
Funding of the twelve-month, $2 million program is being provided by The Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency under a contract managed by the Air Force.
Matthew O'Grady, principal engineer, imaging products, at Sensors Unlimited, said, "In Phase 1a we demonstrated our patented APD/PIN detector array, made possible by our epitaxial growth facility and also proved the feasibility of our advanced digital pixel output circuit design. Over the next year we will develop and deliver a single camera capable of high resolution 3-D imaging, wavefront sensing and low-light-level imaging based on this unique technology."
The camera consists of a 256x256 pixel array capable of both flash LADAR reception and photosignal integration and has frame rates as high as 15,000 frames per second for a 128x128 pixel window, which enables the military to track objects at high speeds. Commercial applications of the technology include collision avoidance and automatic surveying. The focal plane array includes a custom integrated circuit, based on a new digital output pixel design, which will enable unique performance and features for the signal measurement and readout functions, Sensors Unlimited said.
The company will deliver two advanced cameras to the Air Force. The contract has the potential to be worth $3.7 M if carried out through Phase 3.
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