March 20, 2008, Orlando, FL--Representatives from L-3 Infrared Products (New York, NY) announced plans to take its line of thermal imaging products to unprecedented performance thresholds in the uncooled marketplace with the introduction of its new Thermal-Eye Series 17 product family.
The announcement was made as part of an L-3-hosted dealer symposium addressing "The Age of Amorphous Silicon" at the SPIE Security + Defense Show March 17-20 at the Orlando World Center Marriott and Convention Center. SPIE Defense+Security Show is the number one event in the industry for infrared imaging, optics, and sensors drawing hundreds of today's leading technology experts from around the world.
"L-3 is ushering in a new era in the advancement of uncooled thermal imaging technology widely referred to as The Age of Amorphous Silicon," said Mike Studer, vice president of marketing, L-3 Infrared Products. "The SPIE Show presents an opportunity to introduce this new generation of revolutionary sensing technologies and reaffirm our industry leadership," he added.
Amorphous silicon is the non-crystalline allotropic form of silicon. In amorphous silicon, long-range order is not present and the atoms form a random network.
One of the main advantages of amorphous silicon compared to other infrared detector materials is its common usage in a variety of high-volume products. Crystalline silicon–the same material in a different form–is the standard material used worldwide to make semiconductor chips.
Amorphous silicon is used widely in large-area electronics such as liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) and photovoltaic solar cells. Such extensive use means that the material is well understood, and that the equipment, materials, and processes for working with it are readily available.
L-3's approach builds on two previous generations of amorphous-silicon-based sensor modules. Each module has brought new capabilities and ever expanding value to the markets.
L-3's new product line, being introduced as the Series 17 product family, is based on its newest generation of 17 µm (micron) amorphous-silicon technology and offers 640 x 480 resolution. The 17 µm metric is the figure of merit for measuring pixel-to-pixel spacing on imaging detectors. This is the uncooled infrared industry's smallest pixel array now in commercial production.
"We use a unique architectural approach, deploy advances in material science, and have the technological bench strength to take our sensor products beyond the current industry norms", said Steve Frank, CTO, L-3 Infrared Products. "We have the capability of controlling key performance parameters for a diverse variety of challenging applications beyond the capabilities of today's products."
This year L-3 Infrared Products will build on its portfolio of 17 µm detectors by launching the highest resolution arrays in the uncooled industry together with the world's smallest detector packaging technique. Plans include a 17 um 640 x 480 detector and digital imaging module, a 320 x 240 detector array, as well as a 1024 x 768 detector array. Further, a dual-field-of-view long-range imaging module is underway and will feature a 1024 x 768 array that uses 640 x 480 electronics.
L-3's Series 17 technology focuses on improvements in sensor performance, size, weight, and power. According to Richard Darlow, L-3 president and CEO, these product traits are highly regarded by military personnel, first responders, and public servants chartered to protect our national interests and homeland. "We are thrilled to launch such an exciting and powerful technology that will be a catalyst for the future of our industry," he said.
For more details on L-3 and the Series 17 technology, visit www.l-3com.com.