Novel Biomimetic MEMS Based Infrared Sensor
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This program addresses a new approach to IR imager that closely mimics biological organisms sense principals, having advantages in sensitivity, energy efficiency, reliability, and cost as compared with the competitive approaches. The innovation is based onincorporation of sensitive polymer-molecular with a highly efficient micro-machined thermal-mechanical PFA that directly converts IR image into visible image. The biomimetic material engineering holds the promise to manifold increase in the sensitivityof our established photo-thermal MEMS sensors, providing an unprecedented opportunity to produce affordable IR imager. The new miro-bolometer FPA is a real-time continuous IR sensor without the need for cooling, potentially offering high resolution thatcomparable to cryogenically cooled sensors. They are manufactured with low-cost large-volume processing in standard silicon or MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) foundries, and packaged using low-cost vacuum packaging technologies. The designincorporates optical read-out, which eliminates the drawback of electronic means that inevitably introduce additional signal loss due to thermal contact made to the detector element. Moreover, the design is simple, compact, lightweight, low powerconsumption, rugged, and long operating life. An array of prototype device will be fabricated to demonstrate imaging in real-time in Phase I. Success in the Phase I effort will identify a viable manufacturing route for low cost solid-state dual modeimagers. These devices have a wide range of dual use applications, from various DoD's battlefield applications to commercial applications of fire fighting, law enforcement, industrial control, and driver's aid.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
13 Henshaw Street Woburn, MA 01801
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IOWA STATE UNIV.
2207 Pearson Hall, Room 15, Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Nonprofit college or university