IMAGING & DETECTOR INDUSTRY REPORT

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office selected Goodrich (Charlotte, NC) for the continued development of indium gallium arsenide visible and shortwave-IR focal-plane arrays for use in passive night-vision imaging systems.

DARPA selects Goodrich for imaging contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office selected Goodrich (Charlotte, NC) for the continued development of indium gallium arsenide visible and shortwave-IR focal-plane arrays for use in passive night-vision imaging systems. “The focus of this next phase of development will be to raise the resolution of the camera we developed in the first phase and make the imager more sensitive, allowing for better night-vision capabilities,” said Edward Hart, vice president and general manager of Goodrich’s Sensors Unlimited team (Princeton, NJ).

FLIR receives Navy award for sensors

FLIR Systems (Portland, OR) received a $20 million order from the U.S. Navy for a variant of its SeaFLIR III stabilized, lightweight multisensor systems, part of a five-year, $75 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract with the Navy. SeaFLIR III is a multisensor thermal-imaging system that operates from maritime, surface, and airborne platforms. Work will be performed over the next year in FLIR’s Boston, MA, production facility. Including this order, FLIR will have delivered more than 250 systems in the SeaFLIR product line to the Navy.

ART, Stanford collaborate on breast imaging

A medical device company that specializes in optical molecular-imaging products for the health-care and pharmaceutical industries, ART Advanced Research Technologies (Montreal, QC, Canada) entered into an agreement to develop and conduct clinical research with the Stanford Breast Imaging Section of Stanford University to evaluate the effectiveness of ART’s SoftScan optical breast-imaging system in treatment monitoring and diagnosis of breast cancer.

“Stanford University provides the optimum environment in North America for developing SoftScan’s molecular-imaging technology in the clinical arena,” said Sebastien Gignac, president and CEO of ART. “And because we believe that the treatment-monitoring capabilities of SoftScan molecular imaging will enable more predictable and productive drug development, we are actively seeking pharmaceutical partners to join and further expand our collaboration with Stanford.”

PDP revenue slides

According to market analysis firm iSuppli (El Segundo, CA), plasma display panels (PDPs) are not keeping pace with liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). Although falling average selling prices are enabling PDPs to enjoy a growth phase, those same price declines will cause market revenue to fall in 2009, following a peak in 2008. Global PDP revenue is expected to be $8.6 billion in 2007, up 11.8% from $7.7 billion in 2006. Revenue will rise again in 2008, swelling to $10.2 billion. Due to increased competition and continuous price pressure, the market will undergo a revenue contraction after 2008, declining to $8.7 billion by 2011. The market appears more attractive from a unit perspective, with shipments reaching 23.6 million units by 2011, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6% since 2006.

‘Thermometer camera’ sees first light

The world’s largest bolometer camera for submillimeter astronomy is now in service at the 12 m APEX telescope in the Chilean Andes. LABOCA (Large Bolometer Camera; near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile) was specifically designed for the study of extremely cold astronomical objects. “A large fraction of all the gas in the Universe has extremely cold temperatures of around -250°C, a mere 20° above absolute zero,” says Karl Menten, director at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany, which built LABOCA. “Studying these cold clouds requires looking at the light they radiate in the submillimeter range, with very sophisticated detectors.”

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Also in the news . . .

DisplaySearch (Austin, TX), a display-market research firm, reported that LCD TV panel shipments hit an all-time high in July with 7.2 million units shipped, up 6% month over month and 72% year over year. . . . Navigant Consulting (Chicago, IL) released its annual Analysis of Worldwide PV Markets and Five-Year Application Forecast Report that provides an analysis of global demand for photovoltaics. . . . ICx Technologies (Washington, D.C.) formed a new business unit, ICx Cryogenics, which will have an exclusive distributor sales agreement with RICOR Cryogenic & Vacuum Systems (En-Harod Ihud, Israel) and will serve as the U.S.-based supplier of critical components for infrared, industrial, and detection systems to ICx customers. . . . The global thin-film photovoltaics market is forecast to reach $7.2 billion by 2015, compared to just over $1.0 billion today, according to a report from NanoMarkets (Glen Allen, VA). . . . Photon Dynamics (San Jose, CA), a supplier of integrated yield-management solutions for the flat-panel-display market, acquired all outstanding shares of Salvador Imaging (Colorado Springs, CO), a supplier of high-performance digital cameras, for $20 million.

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