Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs) fabricated using this SBIR proposal's high performance, large format, and flexible ROIC will be a key sensor for nearly all NASA space missions which require high resolution infrared imaging and low read noise for low background applications. The specific applications include: - Space based observations particularly where low noise is a requirement (for example deep space). - Ground based space observations - All missions that require infrared spectroscopy (and hence typically low backgrounds and low noise), including remote sensing. - Space and ground based adaptive optics applications where low noise and persistence free performance is critically important. These devices are used to correct for the turbulent media between the detector and the target of observation. It is assumed that either a small portion of the large array can be used for this purpose (potentially an engineering grade array) or a new, modified design, assembled from the Intellectual Property (IP) building blocks developed on this program. It is expected that leading IR FPA vendors such as Teledyne, Raytheon, DRS, United Technologies will be interested in this device for various applications.
There are many applications for FPAs made using this innovative ROIC technology, although large formats with multi mega pixel resolution may be cost prohibitive for some commercial applications. However, because stitching is used in the manufacturing process, smaller formats can be built with the exact same mask and serve lower cost, high volume applications. Potential applications are: - Hot electron emission detection due to leaky junctions, defects, and latchup in Integrated Circuits. Existing systems requires operating in the near-IR region require very low noise and large format FPAs. - Spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging in industrial applications such as machine vision and process control. Because incoming radiation is separated by wavelength, the incident radiation per pixel is low, increasing the low noise requirements for the FPA. - Medical applications where the reflected near-IR and Short Wave-IR wavelengths can provide information on skin/tissue conditions and pathology. - Applications in Biotechnology where small signal fluorescence spectroscopy is used for information capture, e.g. genome sequencing. - Agricultural inspection: By capturing images of crops in the IR domain, critical information can be gathered about relative moisture and overall health of the plant. - Inspection of solar cells - Detection of glucose levels in the blood due to absorbance at specific short wave infrared bands.