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 is key. 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 (engineering grade array potentially) or a new design performed using the 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, mostly in the 1-2.5 m region (low backgrounds). It is useful for low noise apps and the larger formats appropriate for astronomy will be relatively expensive. Smaller formats, larger volumes including linear arrays can be built using the same circuitry. Potential apps are - Emission detection due to hot e-'s, leaky junctions, defects, latchup. Systems exist in the commercial markets that detect emissions from semiconductors requiring very low noise/large format FPAs. Spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging in industrial applications such as machine vision and process control: The incoming radiation is separated into several wavelengths and from the characteristics of the spectra, problems can be observed, identified, processes controlled. Medical - reflected near-IR/Short Wave-IR wavelengths can provide information on skin/tissue conditions and pathology. - Applications in Biotechnology - small signal fluorescence spectroscopy is used for information capture, e.g. genome sequencing.- Agricultural inspection - e.g. looking at relative moisture content or reflected sunlight for the health of the crops. Our device would be needed in low background apps where the existing systems would not be sensitive enough.- Solar cell inspection - The FPA here would bring more sensitivity compared to existing systems. Potentially looking at glucose levels in the blood due to absorbance at specific short wave IR bands.