DARPA contracted DRS to enhance cooled IR sensor’s performance 42405162

Defence & Security News - DARPA
DARPA contracted DRS to enhance cooled IR sensor’s performance
DARPA has contracted DRS, a Leonardo-Finmeccanica company, to enhance the performance of the company’s ultra-small pixel infrared focal plane arrays (FPA) under the agency’s Lambda Scale programme.
DARPA contracted DRS to enhance cooled IR sensor’s performance
Enhancing the performance of ultra-small pixel infrared focal plane arrays, DRS and DARPA will be able to provide pilots' and other soldiers' with the capability to see better in low-visibility conditions.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Lambda Scale programme seeks to reduce pixel pitches in traditional infrared detectors, in order to decrease the size, weight and power of such systems, including handheld sights and distributed aviation sensors for situational awareness. Enhancements in FPAs technology will improve pilots’ capability to see better in conditions previously considered unsafe.

FPAs are based on a 3D high-density capacitor structure on the Readout Integrated Circuits (ROICs), enhancing the charge storage capacity of each pixel in the ROIC. During fabrication a patented high-density capacitance process and state-of-the-art thin-fil deposition technology is used.

DRS has demonstrated this approach on 5um and 6um pitch sensors, which further demonstrates that larger pixel count FPAs with increased resolution are feasible in small tactical packages that enable smaller system footprints.

VP and General Manager of DRS Infrared Sensors & Systems, Shawn Black, said for the award of the contract: "DRS continues to develop innovative ways to increase pixel count in cooled and uncooled infrared sensors to bring our customer a significant advantage in the field.  This new process opens the door to revolutionary advances in the design of infrared imaging systems of the future. These are substantial improvements in infrared sensor capability for mission-critical applications, such as the degraded visual environments that helicopters experience, where image quality and clarity could prove to be critical to the safety of our helicopter pilots and crewmembers."



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