There has been a growing demand over the past few years for infrared detectors with a smaller pixel dimension. On the one hand, this trend of pixel shrinkage enables the overall size of a given Focal Plan Array (FPA) to be reduced, allowing the production of more compact, lower power, and lower cost electro-optical (EO) systems. On the other hand, it enables a higher image resolution for a given FPA area, which is especially suitable in infrared systems with a large format that are used with a wide Field of View (FOV). In response to these market trends SCD has developed the Blackbird family of 10 μm pitch MWIR digital infrared detectors. The Blackbird family is based on three different Read-Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC) formats: 1920×1536, 1280×1024 and 640×512, which exploit advanced and mature 0.18 μm CMOS technology and exhibit high functionality with relatively low power consumption.
Two types of 10 μm pixel sensing arrays are supported. The first is an InSb photodiode array based on SCD's mature planar implanted p-n junction technology, which covers the full MWIR band, and is designed to operate at 77K. The second type of sensing array covers the blue part of the MWIR band and uses the patented XBn-InAsSb barrier detector technology that provides electro-optical performance equivalent to planar InSb but at operating temperatures as high as 150 K. The XBn detector is therefore ideal for low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) applications. Both sensing arrays, InSb and XBn, are Flip-chip bonded to the ROICs and assembled into custom designed Dewars that can withstand harsh environmental conditions while minimizing the detector heat load. A dedicated proximity electronics board provides power supplies and timing to the ROIC and enables communication and video output to the system. Together with a wide range of cryogenic coolers, a high flexibility of housing designs and various modes of operation, the Blackbird family of detectors presents solutions for EO systems which cover both the very high-end and the low SWaP types of application. In this work we present in detail the EO performance of the Blackbird detector family.
Keywords: Infrared Detector, InSb, XBn, Focal Plane Array, 10 μm pixel, High Operating Temperature.
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