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High Definition Uncooled Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR)

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OBJECTIVE / SOLUTION

This effort enables low cost manufacturing of High Definition (HD) Class Uncooled Longwave Infrared (LWIR) Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs) through a refinement/optimization of the manufacturing process, reduction of packaging costs, optimization the Read Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC) design, and reduction of the FPA core size (FPA and electronics). This effort reduces size, weight, and power (SWaP+C) while increasing Field of View (FOV) and resolution/range of uncooled LWIR imagers by improving and maturing reduced pixel size FPA manufacturability.

Achievements

• Achieved substantial cost savings through redesign of the ROIC, realizing additional die per wafer over the original design
• Substantially increased the response from detectors through focusing on process improvements
• Successfully tested ROIC wafers from the foundry and continue to process into bolometers

Benefits

• Increased resolution/range and FOV — Improved uncooled sensor capability and integration provides the maneuver forces with an increased capability to rapidly detect, recognize, identify, and precisely locate threats at extended distances with greater resolution to provide overmatch compared to enemy capabilities as well as increased lethality, survivability, and situational awareness
• Multiple path approach to reduce packaging risk and significantly reduced manufacturing costs of HD Class FPAs by optimization of die level packaging (mature process that requires optimization for high volume) and investigating lower cost wafer level packaging (lower maturity but significantly better cost reduction at high volume)
• Re-designed pixel / ROIC for enhanced yield improvement and reduced power, therefore increasing affordability and reducing Soldier burden

Transition and Weapon Systems / Secondary Items Impacted

• Family of Weapon Sights — Crew Served and Sniper (FWS-CS/S)
• Improved Distributed Aperture Systems (DAS) for track and wheeled vehicle applications
• Improved Driver’s Vision Enhancement (DVE) systems for Convoy Vehicles

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