September 29, 2005, Princeton, NJ--Sensors Unlimited Inc. (SUI) has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) to develop a 1280 x 1024 pixel, dual-wavelength, visible and shortwave-infrared (SWIR) focal-plane array (FPA).
The uncooled indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) FPA will enable very high-resolution, passive night-vision imaging with sensitivity to wavelengths from 0.4 to 1.7 microns, using pixels on a 15-micron pitch. The contract will be awarded in three 12-month phases and, if fully executed, will total $4,576,176.
The new FPA is to have less than 10 electrons readout noise while operating at video rates. New developments in detector growth, design, and fabrication will enable dark-current densities of less than 2 nA/cm2 from the InGaAs photodiode array at room temperature, allowing the read noise to be the limiting noise factor for video-rate imaging. The FPA should enable SUI to reach DARPA's goal of identifying a human target at 100 meters under "no-moon" conditions.