Dramatic Improvement In The Quantum Efficiency Of Large-Format Longwave Infrared Focal Plane Arrays for THAAD Sensor Upgrade
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
MDA is considering several technologies to upgrade the THAAD sensor. QWIP (Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector) technology is one option being considered. While QWIP has clear advantages (e.g. large formats, high pixel operability, excellent uniformity and image stability, low cost, and proven multi-color capability), its quantum efficiencies have to be improved (to > 40% internal QE, > 15-20% external QE) when operated in a focal plane array (FPA). In Phase 1, QmagiQ demonstrated a dramatic improvement in the external QE from 2% to 25% in FPAs that use readout multiplexers that can be driven by current THAAD seeker electronics. Phase 1 FPAs were delivered to MDA for THAAD hardware-in-the-loop testing. Phase 2 will strive to suppress noise in these FPAs by boosting internal QE. The Phase 2 FPA will be integrated in a THAAD seeker and put through an acceptance test procedure, followed by a Hardware-In-The-Loop test at Lockheed-Martin (the DOD THAAD prime). A successful test will result in a superior sensor upgrade for THAAD with a significantly enhanced detection range over the current THAAD sensor.
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