MWIR Seeker-Sensor for Strap Down Weapon/SUAS applications

Period of Performance: 07/14/2014 - 04/13/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Black Forest Engineering, LLC
12930 Morris Trail Array
Colorado Springs, CO 80908
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


ABSTRACT: Mid-wave infrared (MWIR) imagers that possess more integrated on-chip capabilities are desired for military applications such as miniature seekers for strapped down weapons or for small unmanned air systems (SUAS). High operating temperature (HOT) MWIR detectors have raised the operating temperature and reduced the cooling requirement to the point where a compact, low power cooler can provide background limited performance. On-focal plane array processing with deep submicron CMOS (≤ 130 nm) enables the readout integrated circuit (ROIC) with increased operability, fast frame rate, variable acuity and digital readout with low power in a small pixel pitch. On Phase I, Black Forest Engineering (BFE) proposes to design a ROIC in a 512x512 or larger array format compatible with hexagonally shaped detector pixels on a 10 µm pixel pitch. The ROIC will provide readout rates ≥2000 frames/second in a windowed mode. Specifically improved for low power on-ROIC analog-to-digital conversion of 14-bits or more will be utilized. During Phase I BFE will define other imager components (HOT MWIR detector array, MWIR WFOV optics, Dewar/cooler and digital electronics) for fabrication of an imager on Phase II. BENEFIT: The Phase I effort will establish a baseline FPA design for low-power, fast-frame rates using high operating temperature MWIR detector arrays for low SWAP military applications including guided munitions, AF SUAS, small weapon seekers and persistent surveillance applications. Commercial applications include hand held MWIR cameras, astronomy, FLIRs and earth resource monitoring.