Silicon-Based Visible/Near-Infrared Affordable Missile Warning

Period of Performance: 07/01/2003 - 04/30/2004


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Institution

Princeton University
P. O. Box 451
Princeton, NJ 08543
Institution POC


A large majority of aircraft shot down over the past three decades have been lost to infrared (IR)-guided anti-aircraft missiles. One of the major factors affecting final development and deployment of an IR CounterMeasure (IRCM) system on Naval aircraft is the high cost of the system. This proposal seeks to reduce the cost of the detector portion of the IRCM system. Silicon technology offers a promising approach to providing a low-cost missile warning sensor. Such a sensor will use visible and/or near-IR wavelengths, and so will need to develop methods to mitigate false alarms due to the large number of natural and man-made sources of emissions in this wavelength band (sunlight, both direct and reflected, being a major background source). The overall objective is to develop a more affordable imaging missile warning sensor for aircraft self-protection that has adequate sensitivity and wide field-of-view, while removing cost and produceability issues associated with current missile warning technologies. The Phase I will consider technologies, capabilities, and design approaches that could be used in the fabrication of a missile warning sensor possessing the above described attributes. Phase I will also include the delivery of a technical plan that outlines a specific design approach that will include: a development plan, the specification of manufacturing technologies to be used, and the specification of performance capabilities and trade-offs. One important commercial application of an affordable missile warning sensor would be on commercial aircraft as a component of a countermeasure system to protect against terrorist missile threats. The low cost sensor developed under this task could allow greater protection of civilian aircraft. In addition, a less-expensive missile warning sensor would be applicable to missile warning for armored fighting vehicles, which desperately need such self-protection equipment.