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16 September 2011 Uncooled infrared sensor development trends and challenges
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Uncooled infrared sensor markets have grown dramatically over the past decade due to significant improvements in sensor performance, producibility and cost reductions. Current uncooled sensors are dominated by VOx and amorphous silicon based microbolometers with spectral responses in the 7-14 μm wavelength region (LWIR). The majority of uncooled microbolometer focal plane array (UFPA) formats currently in production are 160x120, 320x240, 640x480 with 20 to 38 um pixel pitch. Most suppliers have reported good UFPA performance with less than 50 mK NETD(f/1 optics, 30 -60 Hz frame rates). Recently, 17 μm pixel pitch UFPAs have been introduced to the market. The smaller detector pixel pitch allows manufacturing of larger format such as 1024x768 UFPAs without photolithographic stitching. In the past, uncooled IR sensor developments were primarily driven by military needs; however, as low cost uncooled sensors began to proliferate in the commercial market, uncooled sensors with FPA formats of 320x240 and smaller are rapidly becoming commodity items. Reduction of sensor system size, weight, and power (SWaP) as well as cost is the key driver for the next generation of uncooled sensors. This paper presents a brief overview of the uncooled sensors status, developmental trends and challenges facing the industry.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Chuan Li, George D. Skidmore, and C. J. Han "Uncooled infrared sensor development trends and challenges", Proc. SPIE 8155, Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications; and Single Photon Imaging II, 815515 (16 September 2011);


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