ULIS, a leading infrared vision specialist making affordable uncooled thermal sensors for civilian and military applications, announced March 5 that it will give a presentation on the advances in uncooled infrared detectors at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing symposium, April 5-9, in Orlando, Fla. These devices, also called microbolometers, are paving the way for high-definition IR products (VGA and XGA – video graphics arrays) and smaller, compact formats. SPIE is the international society advancing optronics and light-based research.
SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing 2010 is one of the defense & security industry's leading meetings for light-based applications, and brings together top researchers, scientists and engineers from the military, industry and academia. Programs cover the latest enabling technologies and applications in infrared, sensors, image analysis, and other systems and devices.
"We are focusing on reducing the pixel pitch, enhancing the high spatial resolution and lowering the power consumption of our uncooled IR detectors. We and our customers believe that this turns the TEC-less 17-micron pixel size VGA array into a product well-adapted for high resolution and compact systems, such as portable cameras or systems for commercial and military applications," said Jean-Luc Tissot technical director at ULIS. "Every year, this SPIE forum throws a spotlight on new ideas and knowledge and we are glad to be taking a lead part in this."
As co-chair, Tissot will open the session on "Uncooled FPAs and Applications". He will then go on to present "High performance uncooled amorphous silicon VGA IRFPA with 17-micron pixel-pitch", a technical paper he co-authored with ULIS' research and development team. The paper takes a close look at the high electro-optical performances of this IRFPA (Infrared Focal Planar Array) and the rapid performance enhancements ULIS has achieved. Tissot will discuss the NETD trade-offs with wide thermal dynamic range, as well as the high uniformity characteristics and pixel operability that the company has accomplished through its thorough knowledge of amorphous silicon technology coupled with the ROIC (readout integrated circuit) design. Tissot says this technology node paves the way for high-end products, as well as compact smaller formats like 320 x 240 or smaller.
ULIS uses special semiconductor compound material, amorphous silicon, to make its microbolometers. Amorphous silicon enables the development of high performance technologies and has the advantage of being able to be mass-produced, since silicon manufacturing is well established as an industrial process. As a result, the large volumes of microbolometers ULIS produces can lower the cost per unit and open up applications in market sectors where infrared cameras and system need to be more affordable, such as cameras for thermography, surveillance or enhanced night vision driving.
ULIS, a subsidiary of Sofradir, specializes in the design and manufacture of innovative, high-quality uncooled microbolometers for thermography, automotive, safety and military applications. It enables makers of infrared equipment to produce low-weight, low-power consumption and cost-effective infrared cameras in large volume.