SBIR Phase I: Novel MEMS Based Low Cost Thermal Camera
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project proposes a breakthrough Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) device that holds the promise of overcoming the drawbacks and limitations in present IR sensors. Based on a novel micro-photomechanical sensor design, the proposed MEMS technology passively transfers thermal infrared radiation into a visible image that can be readout by a mobile-phone type camera. This new thermal imager is simple to manufacture, amendable to large high resolution array, consumes little power, requires no cooling, and higher sensitivity due to the elimination of electronic noise. All hot objects emit electromagnetic radiation in the infrared spectral band. Thermal cameras detect infrared radiation emitted by the object itself and, therefore, can see objects in total darkness and measure their temperature profile. Human and animal bodies emit radiation at 7 to 10 microns in the infrared band, making thermal imaging ideal to detect them in either day and night. Thermal cameras can see far and can see through rain, snow, fog, and even smoke. Although humans can not see in this wave band, many of nature's creatures have good thermal vision, such as snakes and beetles. Thermal cameras that provide this capability represent the best available technology to address what is becoming known as the all-condition imaging market. However, the inherent high costs of the incumbent approaches have made them inaccessible to 95% of potential users. If successful the proposed technology will lead to a new class of disruptively low cost thermal camera that opens up a large previously un-served market. it will implement a critical sensor configuration improvement that doubles the sensitivity; bring the technology closer to practical application.
Small Business Information at Submission:
15 CABOT RD SUITE 102/103 WOBURN, MA 01801
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