Silicon-based hybrid CMOS visible focal plane array (FPA) technology is emerging as a strong contender for scientific applications that require broad spectral response with low noise, highly integrated functionality and radiation hardness. CMOS-based FPAs offer many advantages in high speed, low-noise detection and signal processing. As a high performance alternative to advanced CCD imaging arrays, the hybrid design enables independent optimization of the silicon detector array and silicon readout electronics. Multiplexer commonality with the instrument's IR channels is another attractive feature for integrators of sensor sites such as for hyperspectral spectrometers. In this paper, the technical merits of Rockwell's CMOS-based hybrid visible FPAs are described including key detector performance aspects, interface electronics requirements, radiation hardness and concomitant implications for diverse imaging applications. At this time we have developed 640 X 480 and 1024 X 1024 hybrid imagers with approximately equals 100% optical fill factor, high broadband QE spanning ultraviolet (UV) through near infrared (NIR), wide dynamic range, and high pixel operability. Dark current of approximately equals 0.01e-/sec and read noise approximately equals 6e- have been measured on one prototype 1024 X 1024 FPA that uses Hawaii readout integrated circuit (ROIC). Initial radiation data indicate a total ionization dose (TID) tolerance greater than 35 Krad for our standard CMOS process.