IR Focal Plane Array (FPA) with Fast Shuttering

Period of Performance: 01/01/2001 - 12/31/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Princeton Scientific Instruments, Inc.
7 Deer Park Drive,, Suite C
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Principal Investigator


60189 There is an important need to remotely detect and measure atmospheric concentrations of chemical agents of military and ecological concern. Because the absorption of light by molecules is the basis for such measurements, there is a need to improve the sensitivity of differential absorption lidar (DIAL) instruments, which are used to make these atmospheric absorption measurements. This project will significantly advance this measurement technology by employing IR detectors that can be rapidly shuttered, so that the detector¿s exposure to optical background is limited to the exposure time set by the returning laser pulse. A focal plane array will be developed having a LWIR detector array and companion CMOS amplifier array that can be programmed to readout selected pixels at ~100 ns sampling intervals. In Phase I, a readout integrated circuit (RIOC) was designed for low noise readout of a HgCdTe array of 256 detectors at 100 ns intervals. This RIOC was laid out in CMOS, and the feasibility of building this high gain, low noise circuit on 100 micron centers was shown. Phase II will complete the design, and the RIOC will be fabricated, evaluated, and integrated with an array of 256 detectors sensitive in the 8.5 to 11.5 micron region. The focal plane array will be delivered to Los Alamos National Laboratory for integration and test with a multi-wavelength laser DIAL system. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to DOE¿s national security applications, high speed imager arrays that are sensitive in the IR should have other remote sensing applications in military, environmental monitoring, and scientific research.