Development of High-Definition (HD), Low-Light-Level Detector
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
In this Phase I SBIR program, a low noise SOI CMOS high-definition (HD) low light level television (LLLTV) image sensor will be developed. The detector will be back-illuminated with a 300-micron thick silicon absorption region, for increased sensitivity and spectral-overlap with the night sky radiance. The imager will be configured with 1280 x 1024, 6-micron-square pixels, will operate at 60 frames per second, and will include a 14-bit analog-to-digital converter. The HD LLLTV Imager is based on a SOI (silicon-on-insulator) CMOS image sensor architecture. Fabricating imagers on SOI greatly improves performance. For example, CMOS circuitry is isolated from photo regions, allowing high-resistivity silicon to be employed. In addition, CMOS circuit ground returns for SOI are isolated, eliminating substrate bounce and transient coupling problems. This allows higher operating speeds and lower noise. SOI's planar architecture also makes it easier to passivate surfaces for low dark-current generation. This advantage, in turn, makes the device much more resistant to high-energy radiation environments. Lower fixed pattern noise (FPN) and lower power consumption are also achieved. In Phase I, the HD image sensor will be designed, layed-out, and performance simulated, so that it can be manufactured and tested in Phase II.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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