Focal Plane Array Technology for Passive Hyperspectral Standoff Detection

Period of Performance: 05/25/2011 - 05/25/2013

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

EPIR, Inc.
590 Territorial Drive
Bolingbrook , IL 60440
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Chemical imaging sensors require focal plane arrays (FPAs) incorporating long wavelength infrared (LWIR) detectors suitable for hyperspectral detection. These detectors require high sensitivity to account for the low photon counts in narrow wavelength bands. The required sensitivity elevates the associated costs, so a need exists for a lower cost LWIR FPA for use with chemical imaging sensors. The technical approach to providing this solution relies on EPIR s expertise in the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of HgCdTe on silicon substrates to reduce cost, improve yield and potentially improve performance. Phase II s focus will be on the manufacture and characterization of a prototype LWIR FPA suitable for use in passive standoff hyperspectral chemical sensing with innovative performance enhancements to reduce the detector dark current including implementation of the manufacturing improvement plan developed in Phase I focusing on silicon substrate screening, improved passivation, and improved device architecture. The Phase II LWIR FPA prototype will be built to the FPA specifications developed in Phase I, including geometry, spectral response, noise requirements and operating temperature that meet the system requirements while minimizing cost and risk, and maximizing yield. Phase III will focus on packaging and manufacturing scale-up to further lower costs.